Pets provide countless hours of direct companionship to loving pet owners. Dogs and cats alleviate loneliness and provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment for many owners. Since pets have doting owners providing their care, they also have a terrific way of encouraging even shy owners into more social situations. Pet owners seem willing to venture outside of their comfort zones in the best interest of family pets. What are five ways pets help their owners meet people?
Pets keep owners active and visible in the neighborhood. Busy schedules and active social media lives prevent many families from experiencing the world right outside their doors. Owning a dog or an outdoor cat prevents that seclusion. Most neighbors on our street know our dog. He is an excellent conversation starter, pushing me to talk to even the neighbors that I would likely have never met without Max, the dog. Everyone also knows our indoor/outdoor cat and some neighbors frequently ask about him if he moves inside for extended periods of time.
Pets help owners connect with others at pet-friendly spaces. If your community does not have a dog park, a nearby community likely has one within an easy drive. Pet-friendly coffee shops, bakeries, restaurants, and parks provide perfect spots for pet owners to include beloved pets during daily routines and outings. Since these spots are so popular, they offer a terrific place for pet owners to meet new, like-minded, animal-loving people.
Pet business relationships force human interaction. While pet businesses boom because they separate loving pet owners with their money, they also offer opportunities to meet other animal lovers and pet owners with similar interests and needs. As the owner of four cats, a dog, and a bullfrog, I spend a lot of time visiting our veterinarian, the groomer, and the local pet supply shops. We have developed friendships with so many pet business employees that carry over outside of business hours.
Online pet social communities help people meet. The internet and social media networks are not only intended for two-legged friends. There are tons of pet pages on social networking sites and bloggers frequently have four legs, fur, feathers and scales. People tend to be themselves when typing behind the mask of Fluffy or Fido. Fears of saying something silly or typing something politically incorrect or with personality virtually disappear. I love to read pet blogs and hang out in online pet communities. Over time, I have developed strong friendships with the owners of my cats' "friends" from around the world.
Pet-specific groups help owners meet other people with similar interests. With the vast reach of social media and online communities, there is a group somewhere for everyone. Whether interested in animal rescue, breed-specific connections, pet health topics, or even pet photography or animal themed arts and crafts, you can find a related group on your favorite social networking site.