Pets Are Part of the Family

Whether you admire your furry little one or think your pet is the coolest roommate in the world, one thing is for sure: pets are part of the family! And we are not the only ones who think this way: science supports us.

How The Animals Joined The Household

The human-animal relationship has been important since the initial animals were domesticated (look at you, goats). Long ago, when animals were treated as tools for eating or working. Chickens cooked eggs and meat, horses and bulls carried people and heavy loads, and dogs and cats were hunters.

When the ancient Egyptians invited cats into their homes to ward off mice and snakes, their (adorable) predators quickly defeated them. While they adorned their cats with gold and jewels and gave them seats at banquets, it took a while for the rest of the world to catch up.

In Europe and the United States, people have owned dogs and cats for centuries. They were used as hunting dogs, cats that hunted mice and pets. However, people tend to consider animals as property. Although many pet owners had a great affection for their animals, they were not considered something close to a member of the human family.

It was only after the Industrial Revolution that people stopped caring so much about survival and really allowed themselves to relax a little. More and more people began to see pets more as friends than as workers. Once they had a little more time to spend at home with these animals, this relationship became deeper and more loving.

How Pets Became Family Members

Nowadays, people have more freedom to choose the life that makes them happy. For some people, this is a 2.5-year-old boy and a white windowsill. For others, it’s life to travel non-stop with their canine best friend in tow! All these options mean more types of family structures than ever before.

The number of children has remained unchanged in the United States since the 1970s, while the number of pet owners has tripled! In 2018, more than 60% of American households have pets, and dogs and cats are the most popular. The American Veterinary medical association has proven that pets are an integral part of American families: 85% of dog owners and 76% of cat owners say they consider their pets as real family members. (There are no surprises, are there?)

We all have a unique relationship with our pets and this extends to the way we treat them in our family! A study by sociologist Andrea Laurent-Simpson shows that each of us sees different roles for our animals. Parents with children are more likely to consider their pets as just a “toddler”, which makes many of them proud to be pet parents! Children who grow up with their beloved pets usually describe them as “brothers” or “best friends”.”

This feeling of “best friend” extends to many mature people who have not settled in a normal nuclear family. Many mature singles consider their pets to be their companions, who are their confidants and cheerleaders with every breakup and promotion. Some people choose not to raise children, and pets can become their least industrious children in these happily childless families.

Whether people live in single-parent families, have joined their extended family, or have relationships only with themselves and their four-legged best friends, it is obvious that pets have become an integral part of our family! They make us happy and we do

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *