For most people who have had the pleasure of raising animals, pets are considered a part of the family. Everyone has a story about their family's first pet. Mine was a goldfish and a tabby kitten that I waited months to receive. When I was young, I began lobbying my father about getting a family pet. I began telling him animated stories about how families were better off if they had a pet, such as a kitten (which was what I wanted) and that having a pet enriched the lives of the people around them. My father had dogs his entire life and was resistant to the idea of getting a cat; however, due to my persistence, we eventually got an American short-haired tabby kitten. One of my earliest memories was when I had fallen ill with a high fever and was immobile, my kitten slept next to me, comforting me. My mother told me after I had woken up from my 48 hour feverish sleep that my kitten refused to leave my side and slept next to me the entire time. My pet and I were inseparable. I was 8 years old then.
It has been said that when young children have pets early in their lives, they develop emotional intelligence more quickly than children who aren't exposed to animals. There is something unsaid, an unwritten communication that happens when being around animals at a young age. I think a lot about having a pet is that one starts to learn about the welfare of another being, and being responsible for another being other than oneself represents a great duty and responsibility. One starts to think outside himself or herself, and it begins a journey into communication that goes beyond words.
Recently, Joanne Wilson, a New York angel investor who goes by GothamGal wrote in her blog about cannabis oil for pets and how THC is an incredible pain reliever and attitude adjuster for our beloved animals. I previously wrote about Joanne Wilson here: Be Bold. She says that she began doubting the pharmaceutical industry and their marketing campaigns in the last few years:
"When the [pharmaceutical TV] ad gives you the benefits of taking something and then moves into a soothing music over the voice of someone telling you that by taking this medication you could get this and that and this and that and on and on and on and on, it is almost comical if it wasn’t."- Joanne Wilson, NY investor and founder of WeFestival
An interesting fact is that most of many pets' ill ailments are directly derived from their food and water source. Pet food are often produced from contaminated, low grade products that do not pass as food that can be sold for people. Hence there is an unending source of recalls for pet products on a monthly basis that might shock some people.
We expect to give our pets the best care and products, but often we believe in the hype of cat food and dog food, which can often be contaminated with viruses such as salmonella, listeria and monocytogenes and substances such as plastic and elevated copper levels and excessive salt. In addition, many pet food products have carcinogens as preservatives which are also used as pesticides. Substances such as ethoxyquin, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are present in commercial dog food and not regulated by the federal agencies for pet consumption despite that they are not approved for human consumption. In addition, other cancer causing substances such as propylene glycol, ethoxyquin, TBHQ and propyl gallate may be in your pet's food. These are substances that probably should never be ingested by humans or animals alike.
When I spoke to my veterinarian, he informed me that cancer was the number one cause of death in pets outside of accidents. He had seen numerous cases of aggressive cancer in the pet population which grew rather rapidly. It is not a surprise since many pet food products contain carcinogens that pets would suffer from a high rate of cancer.
In addition, clean water is also important for our pet's health. Water is what removes toxins from our bodies, but tap water is often treated with chemicals to prevent bacterial, fungal and viral growth, and this has negative effects on the health of people, in addition to pets. Many major cities are notorious for its contamination with parasites in its tap water, and this adds much complexity to the issue of clean water sources. We should only drink from clean, water sources, such as spring or bottled or filtered water, and in a parallel manner, our pets also deserve the same clean, drinking water.
People with their pets on the London tube. London is one of the most pet friendly cities in the world.
One of my favourite eCommerce sites is the UK-based PetsPyjamas. It's a travel booking site and pet shop in one. There is a free concierge service and one can book dog or cat-friendly travel holidays on the site, in addition to having a pet shop in which you can look up specific nutritional supplements for your breed of pet.
I think one of the hardest thing for pet owners is going through the rigmarole of having to book travel that allows pets, but this site is already pre-approved. Although, it's currently limited to the UK, I hope PetsPyjamas will expand to every nook and cranny around the world- which would simply make it easy for travelers who don't want to leave their pets at home on family holidays.