One of the worst feelings in the world is loneliness. It’s an empty, alone feeling that can lead to severe depression. No one wants to be lonely. In fact, they say that the worst thing that can be done to a person psychologically is to put them in solitary confinement. Interaction with other humans is essential to our sanity and our health.
There aren’t always other humans around, however, and while you probably don’t live in solitary confinement, you might spend a lot of your time at home by yourself. If you don’t live with anyone else, it can get pretty lonely. There are several ways you can try to combat your loneliness, such as by making plans with friends. A more long-term solution is to get your very own four-legged companion. A dog or cat can make a wonderful pet and cure your loneliness.
Adopting a Companion
If you want to get a pet, the best place to go is to an animal shelter. Adopting an animal, rather than buying one from a breeder or pet store, is the most compassionate thing you can do. The best part is that most of the animals in a shelter feel very lonely, too, and they may have been feeling that way for a very long time. When you adopt a shelter animal, you’re curing not only your own loneliness, but theirs as well, which is something to be proud of.
Living with a Friend
After you’ve adopted a four-legged companion, you’ll have to get used to living together. The best part is that you’ll never have to be alone at home, but a pet isn’t as big of a hassle as a roommate. With a pet, you don’t need to share the bathroom or deal with unwanted chatter. You can have the best of both worlds - peace and agreeableness along with companionship. It will be an adjustment, but it will make a big difference in the long run.
Doing Activities Together
With a pet, you’ll also have the opportunity to do lots of things with them, including physical activities like going for walks or playing fetch. Your pet can even accompany you in the car while you run errands or go other places, meaning you don’t even have to be alone while you’re driving. Loneliness often comes with another awful feeling - boredom - and a pet will certainly cure a boredom problem with ease. Pets love to play, and you’ll keep each other entertained.
There are so many benefits to living with a pet. Not only will you be less lonely, you’ll also be happier and healthier, literally. Studies have shown that pet owners live happier, longer lives, which is why pets are especially good for elderly people who live alone or people who are sick. You don’t have to be lonely anymore - go adopt your four-legged companion today. You’ll be very glad that you did, and so will your new companion.
Katherine Walters is an animal assisted therapist who often discusses the ways in which animals can help people with loneliness.
In thinking about caring for a beloved dog, many people forget about trimming the nails. Yet keeping your dog’s toenails trimmed is an essential part of the dog’s health, and trimming should be done at least once a month. If your dog’s nails can be heard on the floor when he walks, or if he’s beginning to limp, that means it’s time to trim.
A dog’s walk can be drastically affected by its nails, since dogs walk and run on their toes. This is a stark difference from humans, since our nails are not used for walking or providing balance. If you’re in doubt about how often to trim the nails or how short they should be, keep these two principles in mind. The nails should not protrude over the pads of the dog’s paws, and they should not touch the ground.
When the nail is too long, walking can become awkward and even painful. Long nails can also contribute to hip and back problems, splayed or deformed feet, punctures that open the skin to infections, and bone trouble. Long nails can also begin to split or bleed into the pad of the foot. This will cause the dog to walk slowly, limp, or not walk at all.
There are two ways to trim nails: with a standard toenail clipper or with a dremel. A standard clipper works well, as long as the person is careful not to take too much off. If the clipper cuts to the quick of the nail, it damages the tender vein that runs through the nail. This will cause even more pain for the dog, along with some light bleeding. On the other hand, the dremel is a gentle sander that can round the edges of a nail without cutting to the quick. In light-colored nails, the quick is easy to see. If your dog has dark or black nails, you may want to use the dremel simple to avoid hitting the vein.
Of course, regular trimming should be part of your dog’s care since puppyhood. Yet if you adopted the dog when it was older, there may be an adjustment period as the dog becomes accustomed to the monthly routine. Dogs can often be frightened simply because they don’t know what to expect. Trusting the process to a professional at your local animal shelter or veterinarian may be the best choice simply because that person is skilled at calming down animals in distress. If you opt to trim the nails at home, make sure to involve someone whom the dog trusts, and reward his good behavior with a treat afterward.
Many dogs, especially younger ones, will wear their nails down simply by playing. Inactive or older dogs, though, will prefer to walk on grass or other soft surfaces, and their nails will not be worn down naturally. Check your dog’s nails periodically until you have a sense of how quickly they grow. No matter what your dog’s breed, lifestyle, and health history are, nail trimming should be a regular part of his care.
Author bio: This guest article was written by Eva Kettler, who often writes for LaPorte Animal Clinic in northern Colorado. When she's not writing, Eva enjoys renovating her 60-year-old house and making peach jam.