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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't really have much contact with people anymore. For the last 8 months I've been unemployed since the company I worked for shutdown. But today I was bringing in some groceries from my fathers car when I encountered a young kitten from one of the naibhors. It was obviously frightened of me so I tried acting non-threatening. It seemed to want to get into my father's house so I shut the door before it could enter, for it's own safety. But I felt a somewhat pleasant feeling about interacting with it, there's no judgment whatsoever on it's part.

Does anyone here feel having a pet serves as a good substitute for lack of human contact? Or at least for greasing your social skills on a very basic level? If so what kind? I've been told before elderly people live longer when they have a pet that they know they need to take care of. Perhaps the responsibility of taking care of a pet gives some people pride.
 

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Definitely. The rewards of having pets are wonderful. I have two cats, and no matter how bad my day has been, I always look forward to coming home to them and feel so happy to see them. There have been studies conducted that show animals are good for both mental health and physical wellbeing.
 

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I have two chihuahuas and they are the light of my life. I am pretty isolated as I work from home and so on so they keep me company night and day. I can't even begin to describe what they bring to my life.

Before my two dogs, I had cats and they were great companions too but no comparison to my pups.
 

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Getting a pet is the best thing you can do for you and also for the pet you choose, you both need unconditional love, pets can give that to you.
I never grew up with a dog or a cat, I had a turtle that dad found on a path with a cracked shell, I must of been 5, that turtle is still alive! lol. Was a bit hard to bond with a turtle though. When I was 15 I was going through some really tough times emotionally, thats when I got my own pet that I could bond with, a parrot. Even though we've been through some ups and downs together (I left him with family for a year to travel, I also wasnt around much as a teen to care for him) He has a special place in my heart. aww! He now has a wifey bird and they are making babies right now LOL.
I also had rabbits but they werent very cuddly or friendly back then. I now have another bunny who is a house bunny, shes so tame and loves attention, one cuddle from her, cures all my problems. LOL.
But whatever you choose, choose carefully and research the animal your going to bring home. Its also a big commitment! For example, some species of parrot can live for 80 years, are you ready for that? lol. Also know that dont expect to bond with an animal the moment you bring them home. Its takes some patience with some. :)

Oh and that great thing about having a parrot, depending on the bird of course, you can teach them to talk back to you. LOL. Its good to get a 'I love you' back.
 

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I have two dachshunds and I can tell you that they are the love of my life. Its great to have a pet that is completely dependent on you and shows you unconditional love without prejudice or judgement. :)
 

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My doggy is the bestest! Coming home is so much better when she comes to the door to greet me. It makes a huge difference.
 

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I don't have any human friends so its great to come home from school and have my dogs so happy and excited to see me. :D
 

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Having a pet is never a bad thing unless -

A - You can't afford it

Or

B - You can't put in the time, energy and love a pet requires. Cats don't need a lot of attention like dogs but they still need some. They'll become very antisocial if you ignore them in my experience.
 

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Having a pet is never a bad thing unless -

A - You can't afford it

Or

B - You can't put in the time, energy and love a pet requires. Cats don't need a lot of attention like dogs but they still need some. They'll become very antisocial if you ignore them in my experience.
:agree Pets cost money and time. Thats why researching before you bring home a pet is best. Also finding the right animal for you. You might not be suited to a dog or a cat.
Remember after the enitial costs to set up a home for your pet. Then there is daily cleaning (yes poops and pee pees, lots of it!), the feeding (and remember your pet needs a good balanced diet too), the exersise time (and bonding time with you), you'll have to buy toys regularly to keep them happy.. (or a cardboard box, a toilet roll and a yellowpages. Hours of entertainment for a rabbit! LOL)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Having a pet is never a bad thing unless -

A - You can't afford it

Or

B - You can't put in the time, energy and love a pet requires. Cats don't need a lot of attention like dogs but they still need some. They'll become very antisocial if you ignore them in my experience.
:agree Pets cost money and time. Thats why researching before you bring home a pet is best. Also finding the right animal for you. You might not be suited to a dog or a cat.
Remember after the enitial costs to set up a home for your pet. Then there is daily cleaning (yes poops and pee pees, lots of it!), the feeding (and remember your pet needs a good balanced diet too), the exersise time (and bonding time with you), you'll have to buy toys regularly to keep them happy.. (or a cardboard box, a toilet roll and a yellowpages. Hours of entertainment for a rabbit! LOL)
Both good points. I'd definitely price out the cost of food, shelter, toys, vet checkups ect. And the last thing I'd want to do is not give the pet enough attention and exercise. With all the fun is definitely sacrifices.
 

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There's another point that people usually forget but often becomes an issue. You need to find some way of "test driving" whatever pet you intend to get to make sure it likes you. I have no idea how you'd go about this but it's a good idea. Believe it or not, animals do have personalities and they think. If an animal just doesn't like you, it probably never will.

My parents have a dog that they've had for about 6 years and for whatever reason, she just doesn't like me much and never really has. She'll come to me and let me pet her every now and then but she generally avoids me and runs from me. She's like a totally different dog around my dad. She loves him for no reason other than she just does.

It would really suck to get a pet with the idea that it would be a great companion because you're lonely only to have it decide it doesn't like you very much.
 

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There's another point that people usually forget but often becomes an issue. You need to find some way of "test driving" whatever pet you intend to get to make sure it likes you. I have no idea how you'd go about this but it's a good idea. Believe it or not, animals do have personalities and they think. If an animal just doesn't like you, it probably never will.

My parents have a dog that they've had for about 6 years and for whatever reason, she just doesn't like me much and never really has. She'll come to me and let me pet her every now and then but she generally avoids me and runs from me. She's like a totally different dog around my dad. She loves him for no reason other than she just does.

It would really suck to get a pet with the idea that it would be a great companion because you're lonely only to have it decide it doesn't like you very much.
Very good point. Its all well and good to say 'oh pets are great' but sometimes it just doesnt work out. Eg. The pet might not like you. This is where animals end up in shelters on death row, just because they had a falling out with their owners.

Or if alternatively the animal may like you and no one else!
Like in my situation, I have a bird that likes me, and no one else. She screetches and growls at my partner if he dares enter the house, she hates when my family come to visit and they all think shes a ferral bird, when I get a tame affectionate lil angel of a bird :).. If you love you animal but it hates everyone around you, it causes tension and arguements. :(
My other bird, will bite me (when hes in a bad mood) but would never dare to bite my sister, its like as soon as she comes over, forget about me! A goddess has arrived! Hes going to love it next year when my sister moves in.
We had a bunny when I was younger, that would grunt and rip my arms to shreds if I dared touch it. But he loved my brother dearly. I recently got another bunny this year. She adores me and wont leave me alone. lol.

I know with alot of shelters here, you can often visit a couple of times before you adopt to see if you can develop a bond. Also if your buying from a pet shop.. Its best to adopt, and alot of people shun the pet trade but some shops really do look after their animals quite well.. first check out whether the shop cares for there animals, (gives a health check up before being sold, clean enclosures, are generally passionate about their animals etc) some pet shops can hold onto your pet before you take them home, so you can visit a few times and get to know them. Also be wary of bad breeders. (If buying from a breeder).

So goodluck with your decision!
 

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Does anyone here feel having a pet serves as a good substitute for lack of human contact? Or at least for greasing your social skills on a very basic level? If so what kind? I've been told before elderly people live longer when they have a pet that they know they need to take care of. Perhaps the responsibility of taking care of a pet gives some people pride.
I have a dog and my family has five dogs (which i still consider my babies even though I don't live with them anymore). Life would be unbearable without them in my life. They are the best friends a person could ask for. I sing to my dog, talk to her, dance with her -- crazy, lol. I wouldn't say it's a complete substitue for lack of human contact, I still want to have people friends. But it's the feeling of companionship that makes the lack of human contact bearable.

I would definitely do your research, as others have stated. find out what kind of pet is right for you and make sure you are ready to take on the responsibility of taking care of an animal.
 

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Yes, as people have pointed out, pleeeease make sure you can make the commitment before you get one. Obviously we can't plan for every eventuality, but try to think as long term as you can.
 

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Definitely! I have two bunnies and they make me smile and entertain me every time I look at them. It's very therapeutic to have pets. I read somewhere that looking after an animal can be helpful for people with social problems because it stimulates the part of the brain that is involved in interaction.

Obviously some pets are higher maintenance than others, e.g., dogs are very expensive to look after if they need veterinary appointments and treatments, whereas rabbits are cheap to acquire (mine were £25 each) and relatively cheap to look after. The only real expense I've had was their spaying operations, which were £80 for the girl and £60 for the boy. Injections and things are continual expenses but never more than £20 a go, every 6 months.
 

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sorry a bit of a cesar milan rant! lol

I'm getting a puppy in a few months, and I think it will definitely help!

aside from what others have said about the unconditional loyalty & love... there is another aspect to it too:
having a dog especially will be a good gateway for me to try and be more social. IN FACT, there is a whole section is Cesar Milan's (the dog whisperer) book about a woman who had REALLY hardcore SA (well she didn't say as much but you can tell from the description of her behaviour and thoughts), But because she had to take her dog for walks at least twice a day and had to take it to training classes, she was forced to come into contact with other dog owners or just people wanting to pet her dog. Having the dog with her actually made her less nervous because she already had something to talk about and pay attention to aside from the other people. With time this really helped her in general.

PLUS because Cesar Milan stresses having "calm & assertive" behaviour around your dog... I think just trying to maintain that state of mind while training/walking a dog would be so good for me... and eventually this could spread into other aspects of my life!!
 

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Yes, as people have pointed out, pleeeease make sure you can make the commitment before you get one. Obviously we can't plan for every eventuality, but try to think as long term as you can.
I have to join on this and agree with what the others have said about commitment. To me, my dogs are like my kids...if you had kids, would you give them away? They are with me for life and if you get a pet, it should be with the intention to keep them for their lifetime.

There are sacrifices to be made when you have a pet but the rewards are tenfold.
 

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I used to have a couple of parakeets(budgies). I kept their cage open at all time and when they saw me come home they flew towards me and landed on my head and shoulders. They ate at the table with me(not in my plates lol)
Pets are great. I guess thats where the term zootherapy comes from.
Good therapy given by your pet buddies :D
 
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