50 Wholesome Animal Pics To Give You Some Serious Animal Therapy (New Pics) Interview
These are tough times we live in, and we know how hard you’ve been working and studying recently, dear Pandas. So we had a little chat and decided to reward you for being so awesome by sharing some of the most heartwarming and wholesome animal photos from around the internet with you. So take a break, relax, and enjoy these uplifting pics, collected by our team here at Bored Panda.
From photos of cats and dogs being so adorable you’ll melt in your seats to more exotic animals with so much love in their eyes it’s restored all of our faith in, well, pretty much everything, there’s a bit of everything for everyone. So scroll down for a concentrated dose of cuteness, upvote the photos that you enjoyed the most, and make sure to send this list to anyone who you think could use a smile today.
Oh, and in case you want to feel extra good about yourselves, Pandas, we’ve got another article about uplifting animal photos right over here. Check it out when you’ve enjoyed the company of all the pets featured below. And, yes, they do enjoy head pats.
The PDSA, the United Kingdom's leading veterinary charity, answered Bored Panda's questions about how pets help reduce stress and anxiety, how to comfort frightened pets, as well as how we can tell if our cats and dogs genuinely care about us. You'll find our full interview with PDSA Vet Nurse Shauna Spooner below. Make sure you don't miss her advice!
Warning: you might feel so good that you might adopt half the animals from your local shelter. You’ve been warned!
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“Studies have shown that stroking a cat or a dog for just ten minutes can significantly reduce our stress levels. Showing your pet affection can also lower blood pressure and increase 'feel-good' hormone levels, and it is proven that dogs receive the same benefits when they are getting affection from us," PDSA Vet Nurse Shauna shared with Bored Panda that physical contact helps both the owner, as well as the pet.
"Cats may also get a 'feel-good' hormone boost when being petted, but the evidence is not as strong compared to dogs. This is not unexpected, due to how different the human-dog and human-cat bond is, and how they have been domesticated differently," she noted.
Bored Panda was interested in how owners can help comfort their pets if they happen to be frightened by loud noises or find themselves in an unfamiliar environment. There's no one-size-fits-all approach, you have to take cues from your pet.
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“No pet owner will want to see their furry friend frightened, and it can be hard to know how to comfort them in their time of need. It’s important to follow their lead—if they want to be alone, let them, but just ensure they have a designated safe space to retreat to. If they seek reassurance from you, you can gently talk to them and try to distract them with healthy treats or playtime," Shauna, from the PDSA, explained to us.
"Find the right balance—if you comfort your pet more than usual, you can make them feel more unsettled and worried, but make sure you are there for them when they need you.”
Meanwhile, the Vet Nurse revealed to us how we can tell if our pets really do care about us. Unsurprisingly, it's a tad easier with dogs than with cats, who are slightly more subtle.
“Anyone who has ever owned a dog will talk about the unconditional love their pets show them, and probably the easiest dog body language to understand is a happy dog! There are some really clear signs to spot such as a high and waggy tail, relaxed ears and body. They may also be playful, leaping around you, or they may lean into you for attention and a stroke," PDSA representative Shauna said.
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"Cats are a little different—you won’t necessarily find them leaping around you, but they will show their affection by coming to you for attention, and through claiming you as theirs by rubbing you with the scent glands in their body and face. A happy and relaxed cat will look at you with slow blinking eyes to show trust and affection, and communicate by purring, chirruping, or trilling at you."
Shauna also shared her thoughts about how we should interpret the 'gifts' that cats sometimes bring their owners. "Some say it is a sign of respect and is a 'present' for us whereas other opinions say that they bring their prey back to their home where they feel safe. Either way, it’s a nice (but unpleasant) sentiment!”
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Cat behaviorist Ingrid Johnson, the founder of Fundamentally Feline, explained to Bored Panda that taking the time to get to know one’s pet helps improve your relationship with them.
"For many people, our pets are a great comfort, a best friend, a listening ear, and a source of unconditional love. Sadly, for others, their cat might stress them out, or they might find the cat annoying. This is usually due to a lack of understanding about how to best care for their cat and meet their needs, train them, etc. Those pet parents should seek the help of a qualified behaviorist! While some research claims that pets relieve stress and lower blood pressure, other studies have disproven this theory,” the feline specialist told Bored Panda during an earlier interview.
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"Not to be negative in any way, but cats often self-preserve. This is how they have survived and evolved to be survivors over thousands of years. Their instincts are generally to hide to avoid danger or to flee. They prefer not to fight as that increases the potential for injury. An injured cat cannot hunt and take care of themselves so 'going into battle' is not their first choice," the cat behaviorist said that cats, generally, tend to see their own well-being as paramount.
Ingrid said that cats often like people the most when they “play hard to get,” so don’t be surprised if they run away from you when you pounce for some quality cuddling time. It really all comes down to what the cat prefers as an individual. Some are snuggle bugs, others like to approach you on their own terms.
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"Respecting an individual cat's preferences for engagement is a good way to respect them," she said. "Providing a feline-friendly environment that meets the cat's needs is the best way to ensure you have a happy cat that feels safe and will 'love you back.' This means offering vertical space cat trees or cat condos, playing with your cat daily to offer opportunities to hunt and relieve stress, offering multiple outlets for scratching, and offering different substrates (they all have unique preferences) and just providing an engaging environment."
A huge part of being happy in life is directly related to doing good deeds, as well as loving others. Some choose to focus on their family and friends while others choose to spend quality time with their adorable floofs. Putting in the effort to create wholesome relationships makes everyone’s lives better.
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Very recently, Bored Panda had a chat about happiness and health with Ariane Sherine, the author of ‘How to Live to 100’ and ‘Talk Yourself Better.’ She shared some great insights with us.
“Close, fulfilling relationships with others are one of the most important things when it comes to happiness, whether romantic or platonic. Studies show that the more close friendships and relationships you have, the longer you live,” she said, adding that volunteering, being kind to others, lending a helping hand all help improve your own quality of life.
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“There are other things that contribute to happiness and well-being including taking regular exercise, eating healthily, having enough money to feel comfortable, having job security, and enjoying experiences rather than possessions,” Ariane told us.
“Self-care and taking time for yourself are also very important. But I'd say close relationships are probably the most essential things to happiness.”
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The writer said that it’s always worth remembering that being kind to others can also lift you up as well. “In fact, the easiest way to take your mind off your own problems is to help someone else with theirs,” she said. “But if you're feeling really lethargic and low, the best thing is probably to sleep, or at least rest.”
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She added that we should all be aware of the fact that we can never control everything (and it’ll make us very anxious if we do), however, it’s vital that we do what we can to make our own situation better. Letting go of our perfectionism, focusing on what’s realistic and practical, can help us feel happier. And it might just make us kinder towards everyone else—whether they’re human beings or adorable animals who need an extra dose of cuddles and a new forever home.