Pets have an undeniable positive impact on our lives. Not only do our animal companions bring comfort, companionship, and joy to millions of people, they also excel in a multitude of essential roles, like guide dogs, law enforcement, and therapy companions.
With many companion animals, their loyalty is unwavering, and their love is everlasting. This profound relationship reduces stress and increases the production of serotonin and other happy hormones in our brains, making us feel happier. Science is proving that they can have a much deeper impact on our livelihood, too.
Can our pets help us be more successful in life? It turns out, a vast majority of business executives believe that their pets are a contributing factor in their success, according to new research from the Kelton Group and Banfield Pet Hospitals, which conducted a large-scale study recently. And while these findings may not come as a surprise, the reasons behind them just might.
This intriguing study reveals 93% of high-level executives surveyed grew up with at least one pet in the family home. Of those, 78% attributed much of their success to pet ownership – and we’re not just talking about dogs and cats. While most of those surveyed grew up with cats or dogs, 37% also grew up with a bunny, bird, rodent, or other exotic pet. This strengthens the belief that pet ownership helps to shape us as individuals, starting in early childhood and leading well into adult life.
So what is it about pets that has such a profound impact on our development?
Children with pets are taught valuable lessons, the first of which is responsibility. Pet ownership is not without its fair share of duties: grooming, training, and health needs. A high number of C-Suite executives surveyed said even the simple act of walking their pet has led to better brainstorming, and boosting workplace creativity – both qualities they believe helped them to prosper professionally.
Banfield’s survey found pet ownership has led to better relationships in the workplace. Discipline, organization, and the ability to anticipate business needs are all skills that have been enhanced by the interconnection with pets. It is also of note that a high number of working professionals consider pet owners in the workplace to be hard working and more trustworthy.
As it ties in with responsibility, discipline is another essential skill for children to learn early. Having pets certainly teaches discipline. Whether it’s housebreaking a new puppy, cleaning rabbit cages, or scooping a litter box, these childhood skills can carry over into better workplace performance. Consistency is the single most important factor in responsible pet ownership, and without discipline we cannot have consistency. Pets, like people, learn best in environments where rules, routines, and schedules are kept consistent.
Consistency especially applies to dog ownership, as the majority of behavioural problems in dogs are attributed to a lack of a certain constant. For example, dogs with destructive behaviour in the household may not receive enough consistent exercise or stimulation, resulting in a pent up pooch with no suitable outlet for their energy surplus.
For those who did not grow up with pets, no need to fret. The benefits of owning pets in adulthood certainly have their virtues. Practically all survey participants agreed that owning pets as adults has enhanced their ability to stick to schedules, manage their time, and multitask more efficiently.
Whether personal or professional, pets transcend every facet of our lives, and we are all the much better for it. The bond between human and pet can be so profound, it makes us want to be better people. Our pets bring out the best in us, and when we are at our best, we can achieve great things – not only in the workplace, but in life.
Brandon Forder – also known as The Pet Expert – is vice-president of Canadian Pet Connection, a family-owned and -operated business located in Meaford. He has over twenty-five years of experience specializing in pet nutrition, behaviour, and healthy pet lifestyles. Canadian Pet Connection is an industry leader committed to providing their clients with the highest levels of personal, attentive service. Learn more at www.CanadianPetConnection.ca.