Most people understand the loving nature of dogs or the joy of cuddling with cats. However, were you aware of these domestic pets being aware of your moods? Dogs and cats can not only recognizes your moods but empathize with you. This leads them to initiate cuddling behaviors when you are depressed or sick. Dogs approach people who are crying and assume postures of submissions. This is thought to be the dog’s way of showing empathy. Cats are less social than dogs, however they too can sense depression. Cats and dogs both read facial expression and other body language well and they use this to understand your moods. I have personally seen this many times, both with myself from many cats and dogs and in watching pets react to other peoples grief.
Both cats and dogs are used to raise morale in hospital settings and are treatment for depression. Whenever i feel the world weighing down on me, I often turn to my cats or my dog, and they always help me feel better.
Cats, and dogs to a lesser extent, can often sense when someone will die soon. There is a nursing home cat in Rhode Island named Oscar who is particularly well documented in predicting patients’ deaths.
Having pets also decrease the pet owners chance of depression. All around these are magnificent animals and interactions with pets, if properly cared for, brings joy to the owners. Your pets watch over and care for you, so make sure you care for them! Many dogs can also get depressed when they don’t get enough attention. This is particularly important for larger dogs bred for jobs.