Animals and Humans
Most people that work with pets understand that kids tend to be attracted to animals of almost all types. There’s certainly something very special about kids’ interest in animals; research shows that we’re born with an innate interest in animals which is biological: we’re instinctively attracted to species other than ourselves and at times even have the instinct to desire to care for and nurture weak and vulnerable animals. The fact that caring and nurturing young animals make us feel good is evidence of this.
People love their pets and we do what we can to take care of them, whether that’s giving them shelter or food. The same affection may be displayed towards small animals, but research suggests that this bond is much stronger and more enduring.
The cute, cuddly look of a baby seal may be enough to make us fall in love; look at a gazelle the same way and you may find yourself swept away by its gentle, beautiful face. It may seem strange to say this, but babies tend to appear cuter when they are less fussy or if they haven’t been handled too much. Interestingly, research has shown that this effect extends not only to human babies but also to animals, including cats, dogs, and dolphins.
Interestingly, one of the explanations for this apparent link between cuteness and human babies relates to understanding the importance of visual stimuli – babies look at objects, hear them and distinguish them from others and, as such, will generally respond more to them.
People also relate cuteness to certain species of animals, as cats are generally seen as “cuter”, dogs appear to share this trait, and dolphins are often seen as empathic animals. However, research into the psychology of animals has shown that these traits are not always accurate and that animals are sensitive to the tone of voice and physical contact which a person gives to them, much in the same way as humans react to cruel or hurtful treatment.
For example, dogs may become agitated or even aggressive toward a member of the opposite sex who does not offer any form of affection. It seems that animals have a complex system for determining whether or not they are loved and want to return the affection, and so may not always respond to manipulation.
Another common myth is that dogs only want to please their owners. Dogs are very curious creatures and tend to like to investigate new things, both within and without their owners’ presence. They will explore your home, go potty in inappropriate places and even chase various objects which they deem to be of interest. It’s only natural that your dog will want to please you and show his appreciation of your caring nature. He may not always react as you would wish, but he will try.
One of the biggest myths about animals relates to whether or not pets should be fed with human food. Some people believe that pets cannot eat their food and that the only acceptable food is that which can be purchased from a pet store. While it is true that dogs and cats can digest milk and other dairy products very well, they are not capable of handling other types of foods. However, it is certainly acceptable to feed your pet with table scraps and cooked meat from your dinner table. Providing your pets with fresh, clean water in their dish is also essential to keeping them healthy and happy.
One of the most difficult things about owning pets is understanding that animals are often far too fragile and cuddly to be left alone and abandoned in most cases. As such, one should always ensure that their pets are kept safe and secured in their homes and that they are given the type of care that they need. No matter how well behaved your pet animals may be, they still require constant attention and care to prevent them from becoming depressed or distressed. Proper veterinary care including an annual check-up is critical to ensuring that your pets remain healthy and happy throughout their lives.
Animals and Humans