Pets are a part of the family, regardless matter how much you adore them or think they make the best roommates ever. Science agrees with us, and we’re not the only ones who feel this way.
How Animals Became a Part of the Family
Since the earliest animals were domesticated (goats, for example), the relationship between humans and animals has played a significant role in society. Back then, people employed animals as tools for food production or work. Dogs and cats hunted, horses and oxen carried people and large cargo, and chickens produced eggs and meat.
Ancient Egyptians welcomed cats into their homes to ward off snakes and mice, but they soon became enamored with these (adorable) predators. It took some time for the rest of the world to catch up as they adorned their cats in gold and jewels and gave them seats at banquets.
People have kept dogs and cats for ages in both Europe and the United States. They served as companion animals, mouse-hunting cats, and hunting dogs. Nevertheless, animals were often viewed as possessions by mankind. Even while many pet owners had a lot of love for their pets, they weren’t treated as anything resembling a part of the human family.
People didn’t start to indulge in a little bit of relaxation or stop worrying so much about survival until the Industrial Revolution. More people began acquiring pets to serve as buddies rather than employees. Their bond with those creatures grew stronger and more affectionate as they had a little more time to spend at home.
How Animals Are Adopted Into Families
Nowadays, people have more choices to select a life that brings them happiness. For some people, that entails a white picket fence and 2.5 children. Others spend their entire lives on the road with their canine best friend! There are now more varieties of family configurations than ever because to all those options.
Since the 1970s, the number of children being born in the United States has remained constant, but pet ownership has increased thrice! Over 60% of American households have pets as of 2018, with dogs and cats being the most common choices. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 85% of dog owners and 76% of cat owners consider their pets to be full-fledged family members in America.
Each of us has a different relationship with our dogs, and this extends to how we think of them as members of our family. According to sociologist Andrea Laurent-research, Simpson’s each of us assigns different functions to our pets. More often than not, parents who have kids consider their dogs to be additional “babies,” making many of them proud pet parents! Children who spend their childhoods with cherished pets frequently refer to them as “siblings” or “best pals.”
Many folks who haven’t started a traditional nuclear family nonetheless experience that “best buddy” feeling. Many single folks view their dogs as lifelong friends who support them through every relationship upheaval and professional success. Some people prefer not to have children, and in these happy childless families, pets can serve as their less work-intensive babies.
It’s obvious that pets have become an essential part of our families, whether people are raising their children as single parents, joining their extended families, or keeping things close with just them and their four-legged BFF! Because keeping them happy is what you do for those you love, they make us happy, and we try our hardest to keep them happy.