Pet

Pets and Companion Animals

A pet, or domesticated animal, is usually kept mainly for the enjoyment of the owner or business and not necessarily as a laboratory animal, live livestock, for example. In the United States, there are approximately 21 million households with at least one pet. Pets provide companionship, comfort and interaction that may be lacking in people with disabilities or who are aging. As long as you love your pet and select the pet wisely, it will be with you for many years to come. Pets provide a sense of safety, security and belonging in a society where most people have very transient and temporary relationships.

Pets enrich human life by reducing stress and providing a sense of well-being that cannot be achieved by isolated existence. Companion animals such as dogs, cats, birds, horses and other farm animals provide food, companionship, therapy and exercise all in one small package. Pets have been domesticated for thousands of years, so there is a wealth of historical and biological information on these animals. The lives and activities of domesticated animals provide insight into the development and evolution of our own culture, social structure and relationships.

The word ‘puppy’ is derived from the German term “podz” for a kind of game dog, a term that encompassed several breeds. Pet dogs were once seen as hunting dogs used to chase and trap game, although today the word puppy refers to any pet animal that provides a positive relationship and regular interaction with its owners. In the United States, the pet service sector is one of the fastest growing industries. The number of pets being adopted continues to rise and the need for animal rescue is increasing. People are leaving their pets inside apartments and warehouses, in cars, backyards, parks, and other public places. There is a large number of people who want to get a new pet but cannot afford a pet or who have difficulty adopting one.

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