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Friday, October 09, 2015

Do We Love Our Pets More Now?

                     We know Parental Unit adores us!

And we also know she's loved the many pets she's had before we came into her life.. Although she may not love us more than her other pets, she knows so much more now—we all do—about the best ways to meet our pets needs. And that wasn't talked about nearly as much, if at all, say when Parental Unit was a kid. (Well, ahem,we didn't know much about anything 100 years ago). The idea is that Parental Unit has more time now to spend with us, and makes more time to understand and meet the needs we have as distinct species.

Anyway, this article in the LATimes explores some of the reasons why it might appear that we "love" our pets more today than we did say, 50 years ago. More disposable income to spend on our furkids, and advances in veterinary medicine that allow pets to live longer, healthier lives are just two of the possible reasons many humans shower us with more attention these days...or at least appear to.

On the other hand, the associate director of the Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction, Megan Mueller, says "And, yes, a lot of people talk about their animals as being member of their family, but we simply don't have a lot of research about what people's relationships were like with their companion animals 50 years ago." How about Timmy and Lassie for example—they were pretty bonded, don't you think?

We'd love to know how you feel about this issue. Are humans more closely bonded with us pets than they used to be? Do we really love each other more, or is it perhaps just a construct of the $60 billion pet industry? Hmmm.


Duke said...

Our mom feels the exact same way that your parental unit does, Bocci. Computers hook us up with so much fabulous information and friends!

Love ya lots♥
Mitch and Molly

Two French Bulldogs said...

Pets are such a focus these days it's probably true
Lily & Edward

Sheltie Times said...

I think it is probably different. In my grandparent's day most of their dogs were working dogs. They provided companionship for my Dad, but they still had specific work that "earned" their keep. That being said my Dad was the first person in his family not to have to leave school before graduating high school to "earn" his keep. All our dogs were pets growing up who were expected to entertain the kids and bark at strangers who came to the house.

I think there is a direct relationship. My father had the ability not to work as early as his parents and thus as an adult he was able to provide actual pets for his children, not just working animals.

I also think more advanced research has helped us understand nutrition, vet care, and health options that has allowed us to provide better care for our pets. While we didn't have the disposable income to provide for the dogs we had when I was a child in the way I provide for my dogs now, we also didn't have the science backed research to make the choices we could have afforded either.

Bocci said...

Thoughtful comments all! My cats and dog growing up (in the 60's and 70's) were clearly my "pets" and not expected to do any work, but my cats were both indoor and outdoor and unfortunately didn't last very long. My dog that I got for my 11th birthday was smarter and more faithful than any dog I've ever known or had since (no offense,Ollie, Carson and sweet Bocci!) I still shudder to think that he didn't even have a bed to call his own. He slept curled up on the carpeting in front of my bedroom. We thought that was just fine. I'm crying as I write this...

Sheltie Times said...

I wouldn't feel too upset. Bailey loved his dog bed when we brought him home. However, I've invested tons of money in beds trying to find the "right" one for Katy and the carpet or even the hard floor are still her favorite places to sleep. Other than a few mats downstairs she has no use for the whole concept of dog beds. I've decided I'm not buying any more for her.

I think dogs are often content with what they have. Some like the extras, but many others are equally content with a simple life.

I think had I had a dog in my parents era it would always have been confined to a yard. Even though an accepted practice at the time, I hated it and if I'd been an adult, I'd never have allowed my dogs not to have either been in a fenced in area or walked them. It was just a recipe for death. However, not being able to make that choice, I watched too many of my dog friends get killed and it frustrated me as a child.

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