Success is a very subjective kind of thing! How you gauge success in any aspect of life depends on your values, and goals. How you measure what success looks like may also vary. Whether personal or professional, success depends on many factors, and one of those may be sharing your life with a pet! Recent research is indicating that pets can have an influence on peoples’ success, and their overall quality of life.
Success in the Business Sense
Banfield Pet Hospital recently released results of a study that looks at pets and business leader success. Findings suggest the success of senior-level business executives may be correlated to both their past and present pet ownership. The survey, completed with Kelton Research in September 2018, questioned 857 C-Suite executives. The “C” refers to the “chief” or a person in a high-level position such as a CEO.
The business executives in the study identified a few specific skills they thought to be connected with living or being raised with a pet. These skills included:
Discipline and the ability to stick with schedules, routines
Organization skills and the ability to manage time effectively
The ability to identify and anticipate future needs
The ability to think outside the square
Understanding non-verbal communication
The ability to build rapport with other people.
Of the high-level execs surveyed, 93 percent reported they grew up with a pet. Seventy-eight percent indicated that they thought their successful careers were partly related to having a childhood pet. Of those surveyed, seventy-seven percent also indicated time with their current pet helped with sparking new business ideas.
Success is, of course, not just about business or your working life. Finding ways to improve and achieve success in your overall quality of life is important too.
Success in Other Areas of Life
Other areas of life we tend to evaluate, as human beings, in terms of success are our interpersonal relationships and our overall health and wellbeing. Again, as with the business execs, interaction with pets can have an impact on your quality of life from one end of the age spectrum to the other. Recent studies cited by the Human Animal Bond Research indicate pets and animals can help with the following:
Child development: Pets can help kids learn social skills and how to respect other living beings; along with developing confidence and a sense of responsibility through the tasks involved in caring for a pet.
Healthy aging: Pets can help people transition into their senior years by reducing feelings of depression, loneliness, and stress. Pets can also help alleviate symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Cardiovascular health: Physiological improvements in people with pets include lower blood pressure and cholesterol, both of which are important indicators of having a healthy heart.
Increased activity: The care of just about any type of pet requires people to move their bodies in some way. Movement can range from the basic motor skills used to serving food, patting, stroking, and grooming, to more rigorous exercise in daily walks.
Workplace Wellbeing: Pet-friendly workplaces are being found to encourage social interaction between team members, and help with staff satisfaction and role retention.
Pre-exam Jitters: Students with pre-exam nerves and jitters can benefit from the presence of a therapy animal or their own emotional support animal prior to sitting a test.
Mental health: The companionship of a pet can reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. Physiologically, the interaction and presence of a pet can also benefit hormones that affect our moods.
Success in Assisting with Disabilities
Although not technically “pets” there are many animals in people’s lives that assist people in many ways to overcome a disability. These include:
Service animals, which are trained to do specific tasks, help people with physical or psychiatric impairments or limitations to live and function independently.
Emotional support animals provide comfort and symptom relief to people with emotional and psychological conditions. These include, but are not limited to, conditions such as PTSD, anxiety and personality disorders, stress, and depression ( Make sure your ESA comes from a legitimate emotional support animal registration). In order to get an emotional support animal, you will need a “prescription” from a mental health professional. An ESA letter is basically a letter stating you have a mental health condition and that you really need a companion animal to help you cope.
Therapy animals can help individuals with their recovery and rehabilitation, and people in group settings.
It’s About Success for Pets Too
On the flipside, being successful as a pet “owner” is also about being successful in taking care of a pet’s needs. Success by a pet is a two-way street! The relationship should be mutually beneficial. People with pets in their lives learn the responsibilities of:
Budgeting for the cost of a pets food and accessories, grooming requirements, and their healthcare
Choosing a type of pet that they connect with, and one that suits their personality, lifestyle and living environment
Consideration of how the pet may mix and interact with any other people or animals in the home
Commitment to caring for and ensuring a pet’s needs are met for the duration of its expected lifespan
Planning not only weekly routines but also for a pet’s care during vacation times, in the event of an emergency or if, for any other reason, they need to be absent
Safety in terms of making sure an animal isn’t at risk of being harmed by their environment, or that the animal could potentially causing harm to other people
Monitoring their health and wellbeing of their pet at all times, and recognizing when a visit to the vet for a checkup may be needed
Following local and federal laws and regulations on animals and pets in public places
Giving the pet a lot of love and attention, and companionship!
Pets and Success
This is inspirational stuff to know that sharing your life with a pet or animal is not just about cuddles and cuteness. It seems there are some very worthwhile skills and attributes to be gained or honed from sharing your life successfully with a pet. However you measure success, if you are an animal lover, chances are a pet will or already does contribute to living a fruitful life.