Are you dog or a cat person? Maybe both or neither? Maybe more exotic or unconventional is your taste? Any way you look at it, humans are social creatures and animals are one of the many avenues that we turn to, seeking the sense of belonging. Pets are great for reducing stress, building self-esteem, and for taming anxiety. They can alter our behavior and change our mood in an instant. Animals also encourage us to be more social and taking care of them is a fun way for us to connect to each other and to the animal kingdom. Keeping in mind there are many factors when deciding on an animal friend, there are some commonalities among pet owners that might help determine the companion that is most compatible.
Is it any surprise that dog people are considered extroverts? Dog people have a tendency to be self-disciplined and enthusiastic with a strong sense of duty. Dog people are more inclined to enjoy the great outdoors and are more likely to be physically active. According to a survey done by Careerbuilder.com, people who own dogs tend to be top level CEOs, entertainers, military officers, nurses and professors. The personalities of dog people are complex and can be broken down and matched to attributes of particular breeds.
We all have the image of the crazy cat lady (I myself have been accused of being one!) You know, the lady with the beehive and the horn rimmed glasses who is kind of an eccentric with a billion cats running around? While this may be an extreme description, cat people do tend to be introverts. A more accurate description may be that Cat People enjoy sitting at home, curled up in a comfy blanket, sipping a cup of tea, reading a good book with a fluffy kitty curled up in their lap. Cat people tend to be more open to new experiences, more neurotic, curious and artistic.
Fish people tend to be very busy. You still want a companion but maybe one that is relatively low maintenance and inexpensive (until you get to the more exotic varieties.) Watching fish doing their fish thing helps to lower anxiety and muscle tension. It’s no wonder many doctor’s offices have fish tanks in their waiting rooms! People who own fish tend to be optimistic, hopeful, non-materialistic and introverted.
Reptile fans tend to be edgy and different (with this description I always have an image of Billy Idol and his legendary lip curl.) They are not afraid of risks considering these types of pets usually require more care for habitation and feeding. If you have a reptile you may be a writer, engineer, in marketing and PR, or law enforcement. Being that having a reptile in your home is high maintenance you are probably not afraid of a challenge and you’re probably a little bit of a rebel at heart.
Bird friends tend to be social, outgoing and expressive, highly organized, and ready to work with their hands. Bird owners also tend to be the most satisfied with their jobs, ranging from administrative jobs, advertising, construction, sales and social work.
While all of the attributes are generalities, it is always a good idea to do research when considering a family pet. Often time’s people forget this step and get caught up in the moment of adopting a companion. By doing research and choosing a pet that matches your personality and living situation we can prevent more pets from being abandoned to rescues and pounds across the country. As always, a pound, shelter or rescue is a great place to start when looking for your new addition. Get to know your local rescue organizations, or try searching on Petfinder.
Also in Animals: Misunderstood Creatures: Discovering Bats
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Photo: Tobyotter; Nathan Rupert; cheriejoyful; Richard Ricciardi