Between 100.000 and 15.000 B.C. the first curious wolf decided to get into a closer contact with humans. Most properly the still untamed animal saw the available food and the possibility to get such on a regular base from these strange creatures. With the time it overcame it’s restraint, visited more frequently the people and one day, continuously lived with them. As in a classic symbioses, the relation offered more advantages than disadvantages, or in other words, a win-win situation. The wolf gave up its freedom to gain regular food, the humans had to share their limited food, but on the other hand, won an important guardian for their-selves and their livestock. The creature advanced from the first to the second level of Maslow’s Pyramid.
So far the starting point, but the relation grew further. The wolves not only gave up the freedom to run around wild with its fellows, it laid also its evolution in peoples’ hand. As humans preferred intelligent, curious and calm wolves, they paired such; which led to the first dogs. They should not only be a guardian, but a real friend for its owners. This explains, why different dog breads not only became brave and strong, but others small and cute. Until today the pets are a relevant stress relief for their owners, which gets furthermore used by today’s therapists. Studies confirmed that pets have a positive effect on lowering blood pressure, recovering from heart disease and even reducing the asthma and allergy risk in children, if they grow up with such an animal.
Based on Statista, Millennials spent in 2014 an average of 7.43 hours online and the Generation X still 5,69 hours. It seems that virtual social contacts replaced time that was spent with pets before. Stress relief is less possible, plus additional stress factors appear as users fell the pressure of “keeping up with the Jones” or other successful lives of their virtual friends. Also the Catharsis effect of video-games is still debatable.
Nevertheless that owners spend less time with their animals, they continue to feel responsible for them. So the human gets replaced by robots and electronic toys, called “Pet Tech”. Similar to the iRobot vacuum cleaner, small intelligent machines throw balls for the dogs and for the short contact with the owner, the smart dog can use a WhatsApp tool and based on the human’s decision receive a treat. The caring owner knows that the pet gets entertained, but the stress relief through the direct contact with the animal gets lost. Of course, this effect is also valid the other way around, dogs are a pack animal, so appreciate the personal contact with their owners, also to reduce their own stress levels.