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Feeling Fearful? Your Small Animal Pet Can Help You Through It!

If Friday The 13th gives you the willies, seek comfort from your rabbit, ferret, guinea pig, hamster, rat or other small animal pet.

Marylou Zarbock
Posted: June 13, 2014, 2:45 p.m. EDT

For whatever reason, the combination of Friday and 13 makes some people apprehensive or downright afraid (the phobia of this day is called either paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia). So, that means today could be rough for some people. On top of that, it’s also a full moon. Wow. How are people supposed to deal with all of this? With pets, of course!

Numerous studies through the years have documented the health benefits of people owning pets. And small animal pets like rabbits, ferretsguinea pigs and hamsters are just as calming as dogscats or other pets. Just look at the therapy work rabbits and ferrets can do.

And why not fight one superstition with another? Friday The 13th is thought to be an unlucky day, but a rabbit’s foot is thought to be lucky. Well, what could be luckier than petting your live rabbit who has not one but four lucky feet! Better still, if you own a pair of rabbits because they do better in bonded pairs, you’ve got eight lucky feet working for you.

rabbit sitting
© Gina Cioli/I-5 Studio
Pet rabbits could be the ultimate "cure" for unlucky Friday the 13th.

Don’t want to fight superstition with superstition? Laughter is a good alternative. Put your ferret in a dig-box full of rice or biodegradable packing peanuts and let the fun begin. Or play games with your pal. If a hamster is your pet of choice, watch him rock that exercise wheel, munch a treat or shred tons of tissue. Of course you’ll have to wait until tonight when he wakes up to do this; unless you’ve thought ahead and captured video of your pet in action. If not, well, we’ve provided a funny video with this article.

Guinea pig owners, your pet’s special skill is likely his cuddle factor or petableness (OK, I made up that word). Or maybe just hearing those cute guinea pig "wheeks” when you rustle the food bag or open the refrigerator will calm you.

Rats , gerbils, chinchillas, hedgehogs, sugar gliders, mice and more each have something to offer to calm an apprehensive owner. Sometimes, if a pet is anxious, your protective instincts kick in and you get calm for them. It’s a two-way street.

For me, looking into the eyes of my pet or just watching him sleep or play with abandon or eat in contentment are all triggers for calming emotions. We can learn a lot from our pets. After all, they are certainly never afraid of a day. Granted, they have no clue of the concept of calendars and days of the week. And for some instances, such as Friday The 13th, that’s a good thing!

Like this article? Please SHARE it.
And check out:
The Importance Of Ferrets As Therapy Animals, click here>>
Bunny Boy: A Rabbit Beyond Compare, click here>>
Guinea Pigs Help Children In Therapy Reconnect With The World, click here>>
Study Finds Autistic Children May Benefit From Pets, click here>>

Posted: June 13, 2014, 2:45 p.m. EDT


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