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This is why you love your pet so much

 by alex on 07 Jan 2019 |
1 Comment(s)
Caring for pets is a uniquely human behavior and researchers have struggled to explain why humans are so close to their companions. 

According to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey, 68 percent of U.S. households own at least one pet. It’s clear that we love our four-legged friends, but researchers have struggled to explain why humans are so close to their companions. Whatever the reason, however, we’re unlikely to give up our roles as pet parents anytime soon.
It’s unclear how far back into history humans began keeping pets. Thousands of year ago, our ancestors likely discovered wolves’ utility as hunting companions, leading them to domesticate young pups. Cats share a similar history with humans, which may have begun when our ancestors starting farming and storing grains. As felines took to hunting the rodents that frequented granaries, farmers were likely to reward the cats for their work with food scraps, reinforcing a mutually beneficial relationship. Gradually, these animals became tamer and wolves evolved into dogs, though cats retained more of their original nature. According to a 2015 study published in “Current Biology,” ancestors to our modern-day dogs may have evolved from wolves as early as 27,000 years ago, pointing to a long history alongside humans.
At some point, humans began actively keep pets as companions. It’s a tradition in many cultures, and a strange practice when one considers the costs of caring for animals compared to the relative lack of benefits. Though our four-legged friends provide companionship, they also require time-consuming care, costly food, and regular veterinary visits. Several theories have attempted to explain why this seemingly impractical partnership is a mainstay in many societies. Some propose that pets increase our longevity and quality of life, though these theories have been largely debunked by scientific research. Others theorize that in the past, sharing our lives with animals was beneficial and we evolved together in a partnership that remains today. Culture plays a large role in our penchant for keeping pets, so other theories suggest pet ownership is a learned behavior. Not all societies raise pets and some that do keep them strictly for utilitarian purposes or treat them in ways that others view as inhumane. There is some evidence to backs theory, as an analysis of American Kennel Club registrations published in “Animal Behavior and Cognition” showed. Researchers found fluctuations in popularity of different breeds of dogs that implied pet owners’ choices follow those of their peers. Whatever the reason, however, data back what every pet owner already knows: We love our four-legged friends, regardless of the time and resources it takes to care for them.


Collette Lemons - Comment
Collette Lemons30 Jan 2019Reply
We are close to our pets because they give unconditional love. they listen without judgement and they calm our fears making us feel safer.

People most of the time just are not all that and a finger snap. I have to admit, I love my husband. There are few men left like him. If anything happened to him I would not start over again. Just continue on with a dog, cat... It's just less work than dealing with humans on even the simplest level.

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