Do you talk to your pets?

Many animal lovers talk to their pets without even realizing it (until, that is, another person points it out. Only then do you realize that you’re engaged in a near-constant stream of dialogue as you perform those household chores!).

A majority of pet owners — more than 9 out of 10 — say they talk to their pets on a daily basis. But is it healthy?

Well, according to psychologists and researchers, there’s nothing wrong with speaking to your pet! Many pet owners tend to ‘humanize’ pets, believing that they feel, emote, think and experience the world in a manner that’s similar to humans. In many homes, the pet is viewed is a furry member of the family and therefore, it’s not unnatural that we would be inclined to speak to that family member!

Researchers have discovered that talking to a pet can actually be very therapeutic, providing a sense of relief as you get those thoughts off your chest.

Many pets are very well-connected with their owners and many dogs and cats will change their behavior in response to your emotions (e.g. sitting on your lap and offering to cuddle when you’re feeling a bit blue.) This can also be very therapeutic, as the owner gets a sense that the pet understands.

These findings are actually one reason why pet therapy and pet ownership is recommended for many veterans and others who suffer from depression, PTSD and other psychological disorders.