It’s no secret that almost every facet of modern pet ownership is vastly different from any other time in human/pet history. Most of today’s pets are treated as full-fledged family members, and enjoy many of the same perks as the two-legged members. If you have ever wondered why this shift in cultural perception has occurred and how has it changed our world, look no further!
The History Of Modern Pet Ownership
Our prehistoric ancestors probably viewed animals as either prey, or as predators to watch out for. The first animal to make the transition into human society was the wolf, which occurred somewhere between 12,000-14,000 years ago. Cats took a bit longer to join the human fold; they first became associated with people roughly 8,000 years ago, presumably to capitalize on their natural tendency to eliminate the mice and other small mammals that plagued homes, barns, and grain stores. For that time on, humans and their pets have enjoyed a mutually beneficial working relationship.
Fast-forward to 2016.
Clearly our relationship with our pets has changed drastically. Dogs and cats now sleep in our beds, wear fancy clothing, take swimming lessons, and participate in our weddings. We plan birthday parties for our pets, agonize over which of the hundreds of varieties of pet food to buy for them, and shell out thousands of dollars for state-of-the-art medical care, sometimes to the detriment of our own financial security.
It’s hard to determine the exact date when this transition occurred, although some surveys have found that the majority of pet owners began to consider pets true members of the family around the year 2006. The reasons vary, but the prevailing theory seems to revolve around the fact that many millennials are delaying starting a family or choosing not to have children at all. Consequently, the pets of many of these young people, ages 18-34, receive the focus of their love, attention, and extra money.
The Best Care For Our Best Pals
No area of the pet care industry has seen more growth than the field of veterinary medicine. Only 80 years ago, small animal medicine was a relatively tiny in comparison to the emphasis put on large animals/livestock. The elevated status of pets in Western societies corresponds to a massive advancement in veterinary science. Pets today are now enjoying longer, healthier lives, thanks mainly to a focus on preventive medicine, including:
- Regular Preventive care
- Parasite prevention
Pets Are People Too
There is a growing body of evidence that pets are good for our health. Pet ownership has been linked to everything from decreased blood pressure, stress relief, lowered incidence of depression, even longevity. Besides the obvious health benefits of living with a pet is the undeniable, and often unshakeable, bond between our pets and us. Our modern way of life has allowed this bond to flourish, and maybe that’s the only reason we need to give our pets the best lives we possibly can.
Modern pet ownership is here to stay, and we couldn’t be happier! We look forward to seeing you and your pet soon.