Owner Level of Attachment and the Pets Emotion

Owner Level of Attachment and the Pets Emotion: Does an owner’s level of attachment with their animal help to better understand the pet’s emotion?…

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Owner Level of Attachment and the Pet’s Emotion

Paper details

Introduction guidelines are in file attached to additional materials. The introduction should introduce the problem, and explain the importance. Then describe relevant literature such as: what is the current understanding of the problem? What are the gaps in the research? What are the specific hypotheses and predictions? The last paragraph should address what you did or will do (purpose of study) and then give your hypothesis

Solution

Owner Level of Attachment and the pet’s emotion

Introduction

Owner-animal dynamics are a vital determinant of the level of care the owner provides to the animal. With more owners’ opting for emotional support pets or companions, the benefits of the human-animal interactions on humans are well understood. However, less is known on the influence of high levels of attachment on the pet, or on how to improve the interaction best. The purpose of this discourse is to determine if the owner’s level of attachment helps understand the pet’s emotion.

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Current Literature

As humans form strong attachments with their pets, some pets show attachment tendencies towards their owners. According to Wanser et al. (2019), human-pet interactions could also enhance the physical and emotional well-being of pets. As current research indicates, more extended periods of attachment have been shown to make human bred pets less aggressive and also make their owners understand their emotions by interpreting the faces they make and eye movements (Su, Koda, & Martens, 2018). This helps the owners act or take action that reflects on the pet’s emotion.

Furthermore, Martens, Enders-Slegers, & Walker (2016) explore the perspectives of companion-animal owners and note that owners with a strong emotional attachment to their companion animals could identify basic emotions such as anger, joy, fear, surprise, disgust, and sadness as well as complex emotions such as shame, jealousy, disappointment, and compassion. The study also showed a correlation between the owners’ ability to identify emotions and the degree of attachment to the animal.

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Besides, the emotional empathy of the owner predicts the ability of the owner to understand the pet. According to Coy and Green (2018), owners with higher emotional empathy are highly likely to acknowledge and note a pet’s change in emotion. Ideally, higher emotional empathy influences the level of attachment leading to quick assessments on pet emotions (Coy, & Green, 2018). This makes it easier to understand sudden changes in pet emotions.

Besides being able to notice the pet’s movements that may suggest feelings of affection, content, or happiness, the owners get to know the pet-specific reactions that may convey specific emotions (Hawkins et al., 2017). For instance, restlessness may indicate the animal is bored for some pets and happiness for others. Research should aim to understand how to interpret these emotions, how to foster higher levels of attachment with pets, and the approaches that exhibit emotional empathy to a pet.

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Closer attachment fosters a quicker and better understanding of the cues that indicate specific Pet emotions. Besides, longer attachments also allow the owner to understand pet-specific actions and reactions that convey sadness and happiness. The study determines that the owner’s level of attachment with their animal helps understand the pet’s emotion. Developing attachments to pets emotionally benefits both humans and the animal.

References

  • Coy, A. E., & Green, J. D. (2018). Treating pets well: The role of attachment anxiety and avoidance. Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin, 6, 14-31.
  • Hawkins, R. D., Williams, J. M., & Scottish Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals, Scottish Spca (2017). Childhood Attachment to Pets: Associations between Pet Attachment, Attitudes to Animals, Compassion, and Humane Behaviour. International journal of environmental research and public health, 14(5), 490. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14050490
  • Martens, P., Enders-Slegers, M. J., & Walker, J. K. (2016). The emotional lives of companion animals: Attachment and subjective claims by owners of cats and dogs. Anthrozoös, 29(1), 73-88.
  • Su, B., Koda, N., & Martens, P. (2018). How Japanese companion dog and cat owners’ degree of attachment relates to the attribution of emotions to their animals. PloS one, 13(1), e0190781.
  • Wanser, S. H., Vitale, K. R., Thielke, L. E., Brubaker, L., & Udell, M. A. (2019). Spotlight on the psychological basis of childhood pet attachment and its implications. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, 12, 469.

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