To live a happy life with pets
Rethinking Happiness for Us and Our Pets
Many of you may have welcomed a pet into your home during the pandemic. According to a Forbes survey of 2,000 people across the United States, Approximately 80% of owners began owning pets during the Corona Disaster (2020 and beyond).
Many studies suggest that interaction with pets may contribute to both mental and physical health. A Washington State University study found that just 10 minutes of interaction with a dog or cat significantly reduced the stress hormone cortisol. In addition, the American Heart Association study noted that dog owners get about 30 minutes more exercise per week. It seems like a wise choice to welcome a pet into the home during a period of hibernation, when some stress is likely to build up.
However, many pet owners are conflicted now that the pandemic is calming down. Circumstances vary from those who have to leave their pets behind as they gradually return to the office to those who find it difficult to cover their pets’ medical expenses due to the recent inflation. According to the Animal Care Center of New York, the number of pets that have become unattractive has increased by 25% since last year.
In the following opinion piece, I would like to reiterate the question of how we can build a happy relationship between us and our pets under these circumstances.
Technology and Your Dog's Wellness
Will pet technology enrich our lives with our pets?
After the pandemic, more and more people are returning to the office without their pets. Technology is being developed one after another to watch over our dogs while we are away and to take on some of the responsibility of caring for them.
The pet gadget to watch in 2023 is the Wagz Freedom Smart Dog Collar, which uses GPS technology to allow owners to track their dog’s steps, map walks, and monitor their dog’s “health and well-being score” on the Wagz app. It rates them on items such as exercise, sleep, and breed. The collar can also build a wireless fence. If your dog crosses a set boundary, the collar will redirect him with a sound and vibration that does not shock him. It also raises hopes that harness-free walking may become mainstream in the future. (My dog, who loves to run around, will be very pleased.)
In addition to these services, pet tech is also helping to fill a gap in the field of medicine, where demand is increasing but there is a serious shortage of veterinarians. While the technology seems to sweep away the challenges of living with pets in the post-corona, we must not forget the view that it is too much for the convenience of the human side. Are we making our pets feel lonely when we are away from home? Is our dog in the best physical condition with the amount of food optimized by the app? Convenience” and “affluence” are not the same thing.
While we utilize technology, if we rely on it too much, it is a complete waste of time and money. It is necessary to value direct contact with pets from their point of view and continue to search for what constitutes a happy pet life.
Housing and living with pets
An increasing number of renters in the U.S. are eliminating rules for keeping dogs. Factors contributing to this trend include the increasing number of pet owners and the slowdown in apartment sales due to rising interest rates. As pets become more and more a part of the family, it will be necessary to create a system that allows pets to coexist with more people, including those who do not own pets and those with allergies.
Documentary about coexistence with animals
“Stray: The World as Seen by Dogs” is a documentary that closely follows stray dogs in Turkey and was shot from a low angle at the same height as the dog’s point of view. The film is not only about the relationship between pets and their owners, but also about the coexistence of animals and humans.
Diversity in dog diets
Recent studies have shown that puppies who ate leftovers and raw foods from their diet had stronger stomachs and intestines after growing up compared to puppies who ate dog food. The study also found that although commercial dog food is well balanced, having the same diet for all of a dog’s life can cause chronic disease in dogs.
Sleep with your pet
An Australian dog food manufacturer’s survey found that 65% of dogs sleep in their owners’ bedrooms. They say that sleeping together helps them sleep more comfortably by fostering a sense of security, safety, and companionship.