The Power of Pets. World Animal Day.

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As many of you will know today is World Animal Day, a day in which animal rights activist and people all over the globe come together to protect our planet's creatures. The mission behind this day is to raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. The aim is to create awareness and education around animals in order to preserve their safety, after all, the animal kingdom is extremely important. Think of our ecological system as a chain, each component is needed to keep the chain together and each animal makes its own unique contribution to our ecosystem. Not only do they make our planet function from an ecological standpoint, they also offer a cornerstone of support to humans in all kinds of ways, from disability assistance, companionship and animal assisted therapy for those suffering with mental health issues.

Many pet owners will agree that having an animal in their home decreases feelings of loneliness, isolation and anxiety. So, why is that? Over the years, pets have become attuned to human behaviour and emotion and are able to gage the difference between positive and negative emotions. Not only that, some pets require regular exercise which can encourage a person to leave the house and even run around when your pooch wants to play, which can actually have a positive impact on cardiovascular health. For those of you who are naturally quite shy, having a pet can also act as an ice breaker when meeting new people whether that’s on a walk or at the vets. It has been said that pets can act as a social lubricant in difficult situations. 

We took to twitter to find out what kind of affect people’s pets have on them. Melissa Surgery says: “My dog Maggie was my companion during my first bad episode of depression. On days I couldn't face going out I at least walked her to the end of the road. And she was comforting duvet day company when I was alone and scared and anxious.”

Sarah Tiernan Gretton said: “We’ve just got a new dog. He is going to make us take some time out to go for walks, to get fresh air and give us breathing and thinking space. Even on the days we may not feel like it.”

According to the 2011 Cats Protection research study which contained 600 participants, half of which described themselves having a mental health issue, the survey found that 87% of people who owned a cat felt it had a positive impact on their well-being, while 76% said they could cope with everyday life much better thanks to the company of their feline friends.

Unless you’re one of the few people who dislike animals then you will agree that seeing an animal can brighten your day. There is an undeniable link between animals and positive mental health. Today is world animal day, a day to appreciate your pet just that little bit extra and to also celebrate animals world wide. It is an international day of action for animal rights and welfare of animals, so lets keep campaigning for that because we need our worlds animals.