The love for pets in Scandinavia is almost fanatical. You walk across the streets in any city and it will be unlikely that you miss seeing someone walking alongside a dog. Of all the pets, dogs lead as a darling of the Scandinavians. They treat the dogs almost like or even more than fellow human beings. But what is the cause for this crazy love for dogs among Scandinavians? Let’s go..
Pets play an important role in the life of human beings. Due to this, it is rare to miss a pet in the home of a Scandinavian. The Vikings also had pets during the Viking period for different reasons. The main pets that they kept included cats and dogs.
Most of the homes in Scandinavia are pet friendly unless in some cases where apartments are allergy-friendly. Even in the trains, one is allowed to have their pets though in unique places with no individuals with allergies. It is also important that one reserve seats for them while on the train or in cars.
Historical craze for dogs in Scandinavia
At the risk of being repetitive, the Vikings kept dogs and cats during the Viking Age, and one of the common breeds that are still present to date is the Norwegian Buhund. The dog played a multipurpose role, including herding, guiding people, and detecting drugs. Apart from these, it is playful, and that is the reason most people in Scandinavia, as well as America, love it as a pet.
Norwegian elkhound is another famous breed in Scandinavia. The traits of the dog, including bold, playful, independent, alert, and boisterous, makes it a good fit for the Scandinavians. Apart from the traits, the dog loves adventure, and they are protective and devoted.
When mentioning pets, the Norwegian Forest Cat cannot be forgotten. Its love for human beings cannot be measured, and that is the reason most Scandinavians love it and feel great in their company. Besides, they are independent and quiet as compared to other cats.
Handling of pets in Scandinavia
In Scandinavia, dogs and cats are not just your ordinary animals that you would easily ignore on the roadside. That dog or cat which you may not have any attention for is actually what keeps a Scandinavian company whole day and night. Generally, most Scandinavians live all alone but with a pet, the house feels warm. Don’t be surprised that even rental houses consider whether or not you have a pet.
When you walk on the streets of the major towns in Scandinavia, it won’t take you long before spotting someone walking alongside a dog, a specialist pet veterinarian’s facility, pet stylist of such stuff. On your first few days in Scandinavia, this may look a little bizarre but over time, it sinks in. These people will treat their pets almost better than humans. They can take a whole time just talking to you about their pets as if they were so important (of course to them they are so important).
Why Scandinavians Love Dogs
Across the globe, the Scandinavians have a closer relationship with the dogs. The love for the dog is evident by high per capita linked to dog expenditures as well as a high percentage of dog owners in the region. Unfortunately, this would not have been possible if the ancestors did not set the pace.
It is the Scandinavian ancestors that made it possible for the coming generations to get great love and compassion from the dogs. Even with the massive immigration and other changes that have transformed the culture of Scandinavians, their love for dogs has not changed. They believe that they get comfort from them. When walking in the neighbourhood, it is common to meet some people strolling their dogs or even go shopping with them.
The Scandinavians also love dogs because, from the Viking period, they believed that they were the underworld guardians. Did you know that dogs were buried with humans during that period? The Vikings were unique people, and they did that since they believed that they would offer guidance to the deceased person and even lead them underworld.
Why Scandinavians Love Cats
In Norse mythology, cats were the favourite animals. For instance, Freyr (the goddess of fertility, luck, and love) Chariot was pulled by two cats. Why is it that she did not choose other pets? She chose the pet because cats have a symbol of not being predictable and mystery in thought and deed.
Cats are believed to be scary by the Scandinavians. Therefore, when they appear in the middle of the night, anyone cannot predict what will happen next. In a way, cats tend to protect human beings from harm. The cats that Freyr walked with did not make any sound, an indication that they have humility, empathy, and gentleness.
Scandinavians adore cats as of their independence. For this reason, they are sometimes referred to as walk alone creature even though they manages their relationships with humans so well.
So this is why Scandinavians never part ways with Pets
Pets are loved in Scandinavia since they offer protection, loyalty, unconditional love, health benefits, and companionships. They are members of the family. During birthdays and on special occasions, they are celebrated, and they also get gifts as they have a special place in Scandinavians hearts. Do not forget that they also go on vacations like humans.
Pets protected the Scandinavians by acting as a watchdog as they did in the Viking period. For instance, dogs are usually trained to alert their owners in case there is an intruder. However, in some cases, they may be aggressive towards a stranger.
When we talk of loyalty, the first animal to be linked to it is the dog. Offering protection to their owners is one way that confirms their loyalty. In some cases, they do risk their lives in saving that of humans.
As compared to humans, pets are non-judgmental. They offer Scandinavians joy, meaning, and unconditional love. Besides, they help them reduce anxiety, relieve stress, and decrease loneliness. Not all pets provide love, human behaviour affects the way pets treat them, and that is the reason it is important to treat them the right way, just the way Scandinavians have done in the past. All in all, providing humans with companionship confirms the way dogs love them unconditionally.
Interacting with pets that behave well reduces stress, and it is brought by changes made in beta-endorphins and oxytocin. Also, strolling pets is part and parcel of animal owners. Therefore, owning one increases the benefits of socializing, getting outside, and increasing exercising opportunities.