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Cats and Dogs: Tailwaggingjoy Travel in History of pet ownership

Updated: Apr 23

The history of pet ownership is fascinating, reflecting the changing dynamics of human society and culture over time.

During Ancient Times pets became companions to humans, thousands of years ago. Dogs were among the first domesticated animals, with evidence dating back over 15,000 years. In ancient civilizations such as Egypt, cats were revered and often kept as symbols of grace and protection. Other animals, such as birds and even exotic creatures like monkeys, were also kept as pets by wealthy individuals.

During the Middle Ages, pets were primarily associated with the elite and aristocracy. Dogs were used for hunting and protection, while cats were valued for their ability to control pests like rodents. Exotic pets were still seen among the wealthy, demonstrating power and status.

Egyptian cat
Cats accompanied humans ages ago

Renaissance and Enlightenment, as societies became more urbanised and affluent, the concept of pet ownership began to extend to the middle classes. Small dogs and cats became popular companions among families, and pet care started to become more standardised.

The Industrial Revolution brought significant changes to pet ownership. Urbanisation led to smaller living spaces, prompting a shift towards smaller pets like cats and lapdogs. The rise of the middle class also meant more disposable income for pet-related expenses.

The 20th century saw a surge in pet ownership, driven by improvements in living standards, increased leisure time, and the spread of companion animal culture. Pets transitioned from working animals to valued family members, with specialised pet products and services becoming increasingly common. The establishment of animal welfare organisations also contributed to a growing awareness of responsible pet ownership.

Pet ownership has continued to rise in the 21st century, with pets playing an increasingly important role in people's lives. Advances in veterinary care, pet nutrition, and technology have improved the quality of life for pets and their owners. Additionally, there's been a growing trend towards pet humanisation, with owners treating their pets more like family members, leading to increased spending on premium pet products and services.


The role of dogs in particular has undergone significant evolution. Today, we see dogs serving in various capacities, including as Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals, with access to diverse environments.

Emotional support animal
Emotional support animals are popular among College Students

Animals inspire technological advancements in various fields, such as robotics, aviation, and materials science. For instance, the design of Velcro was inspired by the hook-like structures on burrs that cling to animal fur. Studying animal locomotion has also contributed to the development of more efficient robots and vehicles. Companionship brings many tailwaggingjoy moments and rewards, often tranquility and serenity. Most probably the main reason pet ownership continues to gain popularity today.

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