Our pets bring so much joy, love, and humour to our lives, it probably comes as no surprise that the human-animal bond may be deeply connected with our health, well-being and, possibly, our survival as a species.
With a global pandemic in our midst, we are drawn more intrinsically towards our pets. The connection we have with them has never been more important than now during this time of forced self-reflection and in the silence that has fallen in both our lives and our country. In the midst of the pandemic that is the Corona Virus, there are many stressed and anxious people confined to their homes with only their animals as companions. During this time, their pets provide comfort and emotional support that can sometimes be taken for granted. What is this invisible bond between animals and humans and where does it originate? Why is it so important for us to have our animals close?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) the human-animal bond is defined as “a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals”. Humans have benefitted from this unique connection with animals for thousands of years and it is believed that without this connection, early humans would not have survived or thrived without them. Early humans used animals as tools for survival in terms of both protection and service.
Through the millennia, this association has evolved into one of pure companionship. The bond is mutually beneficial. Most animals have the benefit of food, shelter, medical care and affection. We as humans receive love, support and companionship in return. But the connections we share with our pets goes deeper than words. They can sense our moods and have the ability to impart a joy and peace that rivals even the closest human relationships in our lives. Service animals play a vital role in the lives of those they assist, providing help with daily tasks, emotional and mental support and recovery from traumatic events. The calming effect of interacting with animals means the use of pets of all varieties in the treatment of emotional and mental health conditions is becoming increasingly mainstream. Studies show that stroking a friendly animal can increase the production of dopamine and serotonin in the human brain, inducing relaxation and happiness.
At Fourways Veterinary Hospital, we strive to encourage and promote this unique bond and to provide the ultimate care and treatment, twenty-four hours a day. All our staff share a deep love for animals and work tirelessly to provide our patients and clients with the best possible veterinary care and service. We understand and deeply appreciate the relationships that our clients have with their pets and acknowledge that the animal-human bond is something to be truly treasured.
Written By: Fourways Veterinary Hospital