Written by: Jennifer Dennis
Article source: Supplied

Pets play an incredibly important role in the lives of their human ‘owners’. In the US, around 68% of households have a pet and an even larger percentage considers their furry friends to be part of the family. For many people, the time spent bonding with their pets is a highlight of their day. Pets provide unconditional love and companionship, but can they also deepen your faith?

The Bible and Kindness
Psalm 147:9 says, “He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call.” In  Luke 12:6, meanwhile, Jesus says, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.” Christians have a duty to help those in need, and this altruistic spirit can be shared with friends, family, pets, and homeless animals. Passages such as these can prompt pet lovers to “adopt, not shop,” since there are so many needy animals that dream of having a loving ‘forever home’.

In What Ways Can You Be Kind to Your Pet? 
Pets who bond closely to human beings (such as dogs, cats, and some rodents) like to be close to their humans at all times. Therefore, in addition to providing them with their basic needs (such as food, water, and appropriate treatments and veterinarian visits) you can also ease their comfort via pet appropriate sofas and other furniture. For instance, if your pooch or kitty loves sitting by your side when you are reading or working, you can opt for furniture that doesn’t sacrifice on comfort. Microfiber, cotton, and nylon are all good choices that are easy to clean. Natural fabrics and vegan leather are particularly soft on both human and canine/feline home dwellers. You can also provide your pet with a bed that is adapted to their needs. For instance, older pets often have osteoarthritis, so they require orthopedic beds.

Pets Can Help You Exercise Self-Love
Being kind and loving to yourself is an important way of remaining resilient in tough times. Although the Bible speaks about the importance of exercising kindness to others, it is also essential to pursue one’s health and wellbeing, so that one has energy and motivation to be their best self to others. Mark 12:31 states that we should love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Love is a two-way street. Accepting the unconditional love and friendship that our pets can give us has a myriad of benefits. Research indicates that pets lower stress and blood pressure, raise ‘feel-good’ oxytocin levels, and promote better heart health. Those who are living alone and those facing chronic health conditions (both physical and mental) can experience positive effects simply by having a pet by their side.

For millions of people across the globe, pets are one of the best things in their lives. Pets promote better physical and mental health, and they love their humans unconditionally. Pet ownership can also make you a better Christian, as it necessitates kindness and thoughtfulness. It also enables to you maintain better physical and mental health, so you have more energy to exercise kindness and compassion with others.

Feature image: unsplash.com

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