Why do we love pets?

Type cat into YouTube after reading this; I guarantee the first result will be a funny video of some description, most likely a “funny cat’s compilation.” Repeat this process for dogs and rabbits and you will likely see something similar. In fact one funny cat video has over 80 million views, a number greater than the UK population. There is no denying it, animals (particularly pets) are very popular and have essentially taken over the internet. The second most viewed Christmas advert on YouTube featured a cat, around 4.5 million people watched Crufts on TV last year, and finally the Pets & Animals Facebook page has over 1.8 million likes. The evidence is clear; we love pets.

When Did Our Love for Pets Begin?

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Humans have kept pets for thousands of years. In fact, new research suggests that dogs arrived on the scene around 27,000 years ago. Our ancestors likely began keeping wolves for their hunting skills. This gradually led to the domestication of said wolves as they would integrate more into civilization over time. More recently, a cat was found buried alongside a human in Cyprus, believed to be from around 7500 BC. There’s also the Egyptians, who held cats in the highest esteem with severe penalties for injuring or killing one. They took their love of cats very seriously and even worshiped a feline goddess called Bastet (FYI – you can place your cat under Bastet’s protection here).

What About Our Love for Small Pets?

In regards to small pets, the domesticated rabbit first reached Britain in the 12th century after years of selective breeding across Europe. Rabbits originate in Spain where they were accidentally discovered in 1200 BC. When the Romans occupied Spain in around 200 BC, they held the rabbit in high regard for its meat and fur. Upon invading Britain in AD 43, their love for the humble rabbit followed. So remember to thank the Romans for bringing rabbits to us all those years ago!

Nowadays we tend to keep pets for companionship, whether that be a loyal dog or a tiny furry. Either way many of us value pets and consider them part of the family. A pet population report by the Pet Food Manufacturers Association estimates that around 12 million UK homes have at least one pet.

Why Do Humans Love Pets?

So why do humans enjoy keeping pets? You wouldn’t see an ape caring generously for a rabbit, or providing a home for a hamster. What makes us so different?

There are many possible answers to this question. Research suggests owning a pet was once a method of displaying one’s wealth. It demonstrated you had adequate resources to increase the number of dependents around you. More controversially, if a female could care for an animal, they would likely have the skills required to be a mother. However, it may just simply be that we are social beings, keen to live our lives in the company of others.

We do not have a definitive answer to this question at Supreme Petfoods. We simply believe all pets, whether big or small, should be kept in the best possible conditions and surrounded by love. Therefore, we dedicate our lives to being experts in small pets who can provide the high quality products and advice pet owners need to help their pets live a healthy, happy life.

By focusing our efforts purely on small pets, we have enabled ourselves to build a highly detailed knowledge of the species we live for, allowing us to truly be experts in small pets.