Human beings inherently crave a sense of belonging and deep understanding. As interpersonal relationships often prove to be multilayered and riddled with perplexity, we turn to our most trusted companions for the unconditional simplicity of reciprocated feelings - our little furry beacons of love and acceptance. Yes, they may be two-year-olds trapped in a four-legged body, but they are ego-free; and they take the "till death do us part" vow seriously. We might not speak the same language, and we surely can't see things from the other's perspective; nevertheless, we remain the love of their lives, and they stay our forever rock. Why? Because it's pure. The bond can't be tainted, no matter what you do. Here are our six reasons to talk to your pets. Don't let the language barrier scare you off; we're pretty sure they can understand you perfectly.
Improving overall health
It's no secret that snuggling with your pet, whether a hamster or a rhinoceros, irrefutably benefits your overall health. The emotional support that animals offer significantly impacts our mental health, as they help us deal with anything from crippling anxiety to low blood sugar episodes daily. Our pets (even fish!) are natural-born healers, and they don't even have to try that hard. So, what are the benefits of interacting with your pet?
- Happy hormones boost: our dopamine and serotonin levels significantly increase during play/chit-chat hour with your pet
- A healthier heart: pets are known to decrease your bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Fewer visits to your doctor: pet owners (especially the elderly) make fewer appointments annually
- Goodbye, depression: people living with pets are less likely to develop mood disorders
- No to hypertension: interacting with your beloved pet significantly decreases high blood pressure
How talking to your pet benefits both parties
Any relationship is a two-way street, be it with another human being or your four-legged soulmate. So, how does verbal interaction reflect on your special bond? Let's find out.
1. Strengthening the bond
The power of the silent language is strong. The bond you have with your pet is already unbreakable. So, do words affect your bond's growth? You better believe it! Our pets, especially dogs, enjoy it when we "baby talk" to them. It's the biggest treat. The psychology behind their response to our "mushiness" is directly linked to the child/parent dynamic. It creates a sense of safety and devotion. Dogs can feel it as sincerely as our infants. It's also a way to help your dog feel loved when you're busy, especially since we're all multitasking remotely nowadays.
2. The gentlest ear
Human interaction often brings out the fear of judgment and misunderstanding. We never know if saying something that weighs heavy on our hearts will hurt someone's feelings or ethical/emotional stance on the subject. Unlike our fellow humans, our pets possess velvet ears; they are the kindest listeners on Earth. Talking to your dog means the world to them (because you're the apple of their eye), and even though you're probably not going to get verbal feedback on your "weltschmerz" hour, their soothing presence will alleviate whatever is tugging at your heartstrings.
3. The wagging healers
Canines are often used in psychotherapy for their naturally empathetic and gentle nature - one of the most beneficial reasons to talk to your pets. Veterans, trauma survivors, neglected children, and even criminals work their way to recovery with the help of our four-legged miracle workers. Saying something difficult out loud is less traumatic when you have a ball of unconditional support right by your side. Although they cannot offer an "I know exactly how you feel" speech, their understanding eyes can speak 1000 words of support and empathy.
They help us by listening, so it’s you job to help them when they have to go through a change. Dogs are creatures of habit, so moving to a new home will be a shock. Our pets may have a more challenging time adjusting to new spaces (due to their homebody/territorial nature). It's crucial to keep them safe and healthy during this period, as it can increase their stress levels. Extra treats with a lullaby or two might soothe their anxiety.
4. I'm a lonesome little raindrop...
Not if you have a pet, and not if you talk to them regularly. Pet owners are less likely to feel profound loneliness as they boost our mental and physical health. It's mutually beneficial. They get the attention they need. Your emotional apparatus receives a fair share of the "I'm not a lonesome little raindrop, after all" impulses in return, especially when they "talk" back. Our cats can be superb interlocutors with meowing away and our dogs chipping in with howls and playful barks. It's a special kind of music. How can anyone feel alone? Impossible. A perfect symphony.
5. Pets are polyglots
Dogs can pick up on our vocabulary and expand it through practice. Granted, if you're talking them through Schopenhauer's views on life, don't expect thunderous applause. Still, dogs are workaholics; they love challenges. They love learning new things. And they love you. Dogs can learn up to several hundred words and their meaning, making your communication richer and more meaningful. "Who's a good boy" and "Do you want to go for a walk" are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many things you can teach your dog. And they'll love every second of it. Using toys as rewards in dog training is a great way to motivate them.
6. Words are just a bonus
Body language is the pillar of mutual understanding. We might not know our dogs' feelings and thoughts, but we're undoubtedly familiar with their body language. It's the same for our besties. Their communication heavily relies on our facial expressions and the tone of our voice. By observing our facial muscle movements, dogs can easily differentiate a good mood from a bad mood. They learn our voice pitch nuances, which means they don't necessarily focus on our vocabulary but rather on how we say it.
There are myriad reasons to talk to your pets. But, the truth is, you don't need any. You do it because you love them. And they love you back. They may not ever say it (though a Husky could probably pull it off), but they don't have to. You already know.
About the Author:
Marvin Morley is a freelance writer and an avid dog lover. When he's not helping the local shelters, gardening and gastronomy occupy most of his leisure time.