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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Delhi North chapter.

If you are a pet parent, you know the feeling of coming back home after a tiresome day. As soon as I ring the doorbell, my furry friend aggressively wags his tail, only to hop over me for the warmest hug! During these moments, I feel blessed and grateful beyond anything.

With a higher number of working hours and growing distance in relationships, there are days when we urge to be comforted. To this end, who could be a better companion than a pet? A pet is more than just a friend. They’ll be there with you no matter what. The emotions a pet holds for you are surreal! I ADORE dogs. I was the happiest person on earth the day I adopted my Shih Tzu. Named Simba; he is my baby lion. More than anything, I have always been proud of my decision to adopt him.

Initially, my mom was reluctant to have a pet due to the responsibilities that came along. There’s no doubt that she was being practical about it. Before being a dog owner, one needs to know the fact that apart from the joy of playing with them comes their health care, training, and other pivotal duties. While recollecting the memories of my initial days, I’m able to reminisce how my mom didn’t even hold Simba in her hand, neither did she let him sit on the bed. And today, she loves him more than anyone else in the house, probably even more than her children! She’s the one who gives him food and eats after he’s done eating, makes him sleep beside her, and never lets anyone speak ill about him. That’s how the tables turned, from relucting to loving him like one of her own.

Several studies assert that an interaction between a human and a dog leads to an increase in the good hormone oxytocin. It has been previously shown that playing with a dog reduces stress, relaxes stressed muscles, helps in the treatment of depression, and lowers blood and heart rate. This interaction boosts cognitive and emotional levels too. This latest study adds to existing research on the benefits of animal-assisted therapy in medically supervised neural rehabilitation for nervous system conditions, such as strokes, seizure disorders, brain trauma, and infections. “We think emotional involvement might be a central underlying mechanism of brain activation in human-animal interactions,” Marti said, adding that the stuffed animal likely triggered less affection. I attest to how helpful pet therapy is on days when the stress levels are at their peak. During my lowest times, Simba has always been my biggest cheerleader.

I have noticed a rise in pet parents during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. This might be probably because of the strenuousness and loneliness associated with staying home for a long period. I feel lucky to be a pet parent. It has taught me that affection knows no boundaries. In a world of dishonesty and disloyalty, pets make us fathom the real meaning of love and care.

After being a pet parent for more than a year, I believe the following things could be kept in mind while parenting your dogs – feeding them a proper diet at routine hours, taking them for a walk, health checkups with a veterinarian, and training. They should also be given the love and respect they deserve. Like humans, they also demand time and affection. As parents, it’s our duty to provide them with warmth and be available to them whenever they require.

In my recent social media stints, I have also been noticing a rise in animal cruelty. Animals are being beaten and starved every day, and millions of helpless animals die each year because of heartless owners. There are many forms of animal cruelty; some of the most common conditions are scientific research, abandonment, and mistreatment. Laws are designed concerning animal cruelty to prevent needless cruelty. For example, some laws govern methods of killing animals for food, clothing, or other products, and other laws concern keeping animals for entertainment, education, research, or pets. I strongly believe that NGOs and concerned government institutions should actively work towards tackling such incidents. As humans, we should be mindful that animals also deserve a good life. I hope all the pet lovers can relate to this and give a tight hug to their pets after reading this.

I find myself lucky to have a little furry friend welcoming me with the utmost excitement and love. But on second thought, I always fear that he’s only with me for a few years. This is the reason why I always try to maximize my leisure time with him. Pets bring positivity and prosperity. The amount of warmth received being a pet parent is unmatched and everyone deserves this love and affection.

Aarzoo Rohilla, is a writer at HerCampus Delhi North. Being a political science enthusiast, she prefers to dwell in arenas which certainly pose an impact on the society from the lens of politics. Beyond this, she pens down about real life experiences and worthy happenings from the surrounding. Aarzoo is currently majoring in Political Science from Indraprastha College For Women, University of Delhi with minor in psychology. She possesses deep rooted inclination towards these subjects. She has been part of NGO’s wherein she has worked closely for the social cause. Being a part of an internship at Fortis Hospital for mental health, she has worked for pushing away mental health stigma. In her leisure time, she is usually engaged in penning her diary. She firmly believes that “you’re one of a kind”. As one goes by her name which translates to desire, she’s striving to fulfill them. Aarzoo enjoys spending time with her dog and can never say no to dance.