What Is a Pet?


A pet is an animal that is kept by one or more people who take responsibility for its well-being and intervene routinely in its life. People who have pets have a strong emotional attachment to them, which can include love and companionship. They may also provide care for the pet, such as feeding and exercising it. This is often a regular daily routine. A pet may also be a source of entertainment, such as playing with it or training it to perform tricks. It may also be a source of relaxation, providing sensory stress relief by touch or movement. Stroking a dog or cat is known to lower blood pressure, while watching fish in an aquarium is believed to relieve muscle tension. In some cases, a pet may be used as a status symbol.

Pets are often seen as the ideal family companion, primarily because they don’t require constant supervision and can help raise kids’ self-esteem and social skills by teaching them how to care for something. They may also teach children about responsibility and compassion. Kids can learn about anatomy and physiology by learning about the parts of their pet, and they can practice empathy by caring for them when they are sick or injured. They can also learn how to be patient when they work with their pet to train it to perform a new trick.

The bond between a person and their pet has existed since the earliest periods of domestication, with dogs and cats being among the most popular choices. Some pets were used for practical purposes, such as catching other animals for food or in the aristocratic sport of falconry. Others were used as guards–either of livestock or of their owners.

Regardless of why they are kept, though, pets have become an integral part of the modern American way of life, with more than half of all households having one. It’s a trend that is unlikely to change anytime soon, as people continue to seek companionship and stress relief from their furry friends.

Whether it’s a rabbit if you don’t want to be allergic to other animals or you’re not sure about how much space you have, or a dog for those long walks that will keep you fit, or even a saltwater aquaria if you prefer something more exotic, there is an animal out there for everyone who wants to give them a good home. Spending time with pets, whether it’s a pet rabbit or a dog, is known to increase the level of oxytocin in your body, which can reduce depression and anxiety. And, of course, a pet can brighten up those work-from-home video meetings, which can help to ease the loneliness of the coronavirus pandemic.