Could Conversations With Your Pet Increase Happiness?

Empirical scientific data on pet-human conversations is certainly lacking. This is somewhat of a surprise considering how many of us speak not just to our pets but as our pets. Most of us are brilliant enough to do this when people aren’t watching, but some of us can’t help ourselves — we have to be eccentric for our friends and family. It turns out that conversations with (or as) our pets happen for a reason — and that reason could increase your overall health.

People tend to have these conversations to provide pets with personality. Nevin-Giannini, for example, is a 31-year-old vocational trainer whose best friend is Maverick, his faithful dog. Maverick, he says, is extremely critical of he and his girlfriend. 

He said, “I find that my dog’s personality, or the voice I give my dog, is somewhat sarcastic or critical, particularly of me or my girlfriend. His most common phrase is ‘You son of a bitch.’”

Georgetown University linguist Deborah Tannen became interested in this phenomenon back in 2004 when she decided to conduct a study to help explain why exactly someone might speak to or as a pet. 

What did the study conclude?

Tannen said that the small study — conducted using family members and their pets as subjects — showed a variety of ways that people interact with pets. They do this for reasons including “effecting a frame shift to a humorous key, buffering criticism, delivering praise, teaching values, resolving conflict, and creating a family identity that includes the dogs as family members.”

“People make use of whatever’s in the environment to communicate with each other,” she said. “The fascinating thing to me is how people find it easier to say things to each other if they don’t say it directly, but they say it in the voice of the dog. It introduces humor, and it becomes indirect. The dog’s criticizing you—not me.

There you have it: If you’re having trouble finding a way to communicate with a family member or friend, then all you have to do is simulate the voice of your pet! People also give voices to their infant children and stuffed animals, to similar effect. 

Tannen said, “The kinds of motives and feelings you might impose on the baby would be closer to what the baby might have, because it’s a person.”

But the point is that people can sometimes communicate more effectively when they can pretend that their feelings belong to someone else. And doesn’t that mean that talking to our pets can make us happier, healthier people? Especially when they give us an opportunity to criticize our loved ones!

Will Owning A Pet Make Me A Happier, Healthier Person?

You’ve almost certainly heard how pets help their owners live longer — but is it true? A recent study even went so far as to say that adults with both children and pets actually preferred their furry friends to their own biological creations! That’s saying a lot, which is why so many people seek companionship through pets instead of people. Pets are less likely to hurt your feelings. Pets are there when you need them. 

But will they ultimately make you happier and healthier?

The answer is a fairly resounding yes — and thankfully this fact has been studied and proven by science over and over. While these studies show that taking care of a pet can boost mood and happiness in addition to relieving stress and lowering blood pressure, there are less obvious reasons for these biological changes we experience.

First and foremost, having a pet means more exercise, and exercise is great for changing your outlook on life. Without consistent and routine exercise, our brains don’t release chemicals that make us happy. Studies show that those of us who own dogs are much more likely to be physically active — and achieve recommended amounts of exercise — than those who don’t own them.

The results of the study seem minuscule: owning a dog means you get about a half-hour more exercise than someone who doesn’t own a dog. While that might not seem like a big deal, every little bit counts, and even small amounts of walking can make a big difference in overall health (which is not to say you should be content with daily walks as your only source of exercise, because you most definitely require more).

Nearly half of the participants in the aforementioned study admitted that their pet was their best friend. While it’s okay to have a pet — and be completely in love — there’s no replacement for real, human to human bonds and relationships. Studies have also showed that socializing can have a real effect on wellbeing. That’s part of the reason why therapy can get people through difficult or traumatic experiences.

What we really need is someone who will listen. Pet owners are much less likely to feel lonely. Even though pets aren’t people, pet owners are still more likely to feel a strong sense of social support than non-pet owners. It’s okay if the listener is a pet, but remember: we need people too.

Oh, and one last thing: with all these benefits kept in mind, it can be a good thing for kids to grow up with this extra sense of support!


With Atkins and the new thing called a Keto diet, there are all kinds of ways that people are encouraged or recommended to live a healthy life – from eating certain foods, to getting the right amount of exercise, to drinking enough water, even to having a certain amount of sexual activity.

All these healthy ideas sometimes rain like cats and dogs.

Speaking of which …

Those who have pets in their homes can attest to this in an anecdotal way, but research has found that there is another way that families can improve their health and overall well-being – and that is just having a pet in the home. A dog, cat or even a fish can suffice in improving well-being and creating more joy and pleasure.

What is the big deal about pets? Can they actually help you lose weight? Well, not necessarily – but you can imagine taking a dog out for his or her walk twice a day involves the owner taking a little jog, then that is definitely possible. But aside from the weight-loss angle, even cats and fish can help relieve stress, calm nerves and give owners feelings of pleasure which can contribute to preventing many medical conditions.

Various physiological and psychological studies have been performed regarding pets and their effects on human well-being, and the results have been pretty clear – after all, haven’t’ you heard about organizations that brings dogs to visit the infirmed in hospitals or hospice care centers?

Here are some of the health benefits of owning a cat or dog in your home, according to a number of studies:

  • Pets increase the chance of surviving a heart attack.
  • They can lower your cholesterol level, which can help prevent a heart attack in the first place.
  • Petting a cat or dog, or even staring at fish in a tank, can lower stress levels, which lowers blood pressure.
  • Playing with a cat or dog b rings out feel-good hormones which lifts spirits and battles depression.
  • As mentioned before, walking a dog gets you exercise, which decreases the risk of becoming obese and having heart troubles.
  • Pets can provide a sense of comfort when facing a loss or rejection, and they can be great social buddies as conversation starters or as a link to various community forums, groups or even Pages on Facebook dedicated to specific pets.

As you can see, there are so many good things to come out of having a pet in your home, and many of the benefits go beyond companionship into intangible benefits to health and well-being.

What Makes a Dog Cute?

When you see something that is absolutely fricking adorable, you just know! You don’t sit there and think “Oh why is this so cute?” But if you do, here’s an explanation of the science behind the word cute.

First, let’s do some etymology and see how the world “Cute” came into being. “Cute” comes from the German word Kinderschema. Kinder means baby or child and schema means features. Therefore, kinderschema means childlike features.

Here are some characteristics of babies and dogs:

  • large head relative to body size
  • big forward facing eyes
  • floppy walks and teetering gait
  • round body shape
  • soft touchable skin (well in the case of dogs, fur)

You never realized how much in common your dog is to that of a baby. And that’s what makes it cute! We associate the helplessness vulnerability of a cute baby to other animals such as cats, dogs, chinchillas, and so on and so forth.

And now that we know why, here’s a few dog breeds that make the absolute cutest puppies.

English Bulldog – They are wrinkly, tubby, and they look like they are squatting.

Golden Retriever – A classic, cute puppy that is just a fluff ball of fur.

Corgi – Corgi’s legs are even shorter than their bodies, which makes their walk hilarious and absolutely adorable.

French Bulldog – This is different than the English bulldog because it isn’t tubby but its ears are gigantic which makes it look silly and cute.

Pomeranian – This breed is known for look like a stuffed teddy bear. They have a very fluffy coat and tiny ears which make them almost like a stuffed animal.

Is there a type of dog breed that I am missing from my list? What is your favorite cute dog breed? Are there any other dogs that you think are ugly? Even the Bedlington Terrier has some cute features!


Cultures Who Worshipped Cats

There’s a reason why most of America is glued to their smartphone looking at funny cat videos. Our ancient brethren worshiped cats! From Ancient Egyptians, Norse Gods, even the people in Peru all had some sort of Cat Like Diety. Let’s take a look at the top 6 immortal cat beings from all over the world:

1. The Norse God Freyja is known as the goddess of love, fertility, war and was pulled around on a chariot by none other than two gray cats. A gift from her friend Thor. Farmers used to leave offerings to cats because they believed it would bring them a bountiful harvest.

2. The Peruvians, (better known as the Incas but in this case we are going even further back in history to the Mochica), have a shape-shifting god named Ai-Apaec. He looks like an old man with a wrinkled face, fangs and cat whiskers and was known to take the form of a tomcat.

3. The Chinese had a cat god named Li Shou. He makes an appearance in the Chinese Book of Rites. Similar to their Nordic counterparts, Chinese farmers would leave offerings to cats because they believed it protected their crops from rats and other vermin.

4. In Poland, there was Ovinnik, a black cat, who was also worshiped by farmers (I am seeing a trend here). He chased away ghosts, evil spirits, and fairies.

5. In Greece, there was the goddess Hecate who was a shape shifter. In one of the greek myths, she shapeshifted into a Cat to escape the monster Typhon. Since then she extended a special love and protection to all cats.

6. Ceridwen is a Celtic Goddess who also had cats as servants who would do her bidding on earth.

This list fails to mention Native American cultures that also worshiped cats and African cultures that worshiped big cats like Lions.

3 Benefits of Owning A Cat

As much as we love puppies, there’s nothing like a cute, squishy, kitty. Cats are just as affectionate as dogs but they are far more independent and don’t require as much attention because they keep to themselves. Whether you want a cat that remains outdoors, sleeps in your lap, or just a sidekick, there are several health benefits when it comes to owning a feline companion.

Mental Health Benefits

The latest rage is owning a therapy dog, but cats have many therapeutic benefits as well. When someone is feeling stressed or anxious, there have been studies that cats can produce a calming effect on the body by triggering brain chemicals such as oxytocin. There have also been studies that autistic children are calmer and even become more social when they are petting or playing with a cat. Also, cat owners tend top have more confidence because they can use their furry friends as a conversation starter amongst peers.

Physical Health Benefits

There have been studies that show that cat owners also have lower blood pressure than non-cat owners. There have also been reports that owning a cat can reduce your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which can help prevent heart disease, heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, and strokes. We are not condoning buying a kitty as an alternative form of medicine but something that can help!

Environmental Health Benefits

While this isn’t a “health benefit” that affects someone directly, a study in 2009 showed that cat owners use significantly fewer resources than dog owners and overall have a lower carbon footprint. This is primarily due to the fact that cats eat less than dogs. This study explains that dogs are just as dangerous to the environment as a Hummer while cats are the equivalent of small compact cars.

If you have been on the fence on whether or not to adopt a kitten, then consider all of the benefits it can bring to you and your family.

These Are Five Of The Cutest Dog Breeds To Own

The Havanese Breed

All dogs are cute, don’t you think? Some may be cuter than others, of course, and everyone has their preferences. Certain breeds might be coming to mind right now, but let’s not forget about some of the less common breeds out there. In fact, on this short list of five of the top cutest dog breeds in the world, you might see one you haven’t heard of before. So let’s get started and see what makes the list.

Have you heard of the Havanese breed? These are small dogs very fluffy and very cute. Their fur can be clipped if you prefer to keep it shorter. Dogs with longer hair or fur are very cute, but if they are inside dogs that can make a mess. Havanese dogs are cute in general, but it is also their curious mannerisms. If you love playing with dogs, then these might be a great choice.

Have you heard of the Pomsky? It not, take a look at one and see if it reminds you of another cute breed. You have certainly heard of the Pomeranian. One of the coolest features of the Pomsky is the plush tail. Their paws are also extra fluffy and adorable. Remember that it’s not just about what dogs look like but also what they act like. Just so you know, the dog experts say this breed is certainly energetic.

Then you have the Corgi. There are two different types of Corgis, and both breeds are absolutely amazing. They certainly have a unique look to them for sure. Their tails are fluffy and curl back, bodies low to the ground. Their short, stubby legs are cute, too.

What are the last two breeds that make the list? They are the Dachshund and the Golden Retriever. Have you ever seen a Golden Retriever puppy? Aww, and everyone knows how cute those Dachshunds are.