Every year, as we gather around the table for the Thanksgiving feast, we like to go around the table and talk about the things we’re thankful for each year. Typically, we’re grateful for love, family, friends, and the chance to spend time together. This year, we should also spend time being thankful for our pets. Here are a few reasons why they deserve our gratitude, this and every year.
They brighten our days.
Our dogs and cats always make our days happier. If we’ve had a difficult day at work, had to spend way too much time in traffic, and/or spilled coffee on our favorite slacks, it’s wonderful to come home to the tail wags from our dogs. They’re always happy to se us when we come home, and that always makes life seem a little better.
Our dogs and cats don’t even mind if we’re feeling miserable and just want to lay on the couch binging our favorite shows. They’ll often come rub up against us or leap on the sofa along with us for some cuddles. The simple act of loving on our furry friends automatically lifts our spirits and brightens our mood.
They make us laugh.
There’s a reason a lot of us love spending time watching hilarious cat videos online. It often seems like comedy and cats go together like, well, tuna and cats. We all enjoy watching our felines become enchanted by some feathers or their favorite laser pointer toy. It’s always entertaining trying to figure out what is going on in their heads.
What about those times when we hear the pitter-patter of our dog’s paws as he comes careening across the kitchen floor. He’s heard us open the food bin, and he’s super excited for dinner, but he still hasn’t quite figured out how to keep himself from sliding around on the tile. He doesn’t seem too concerned though because, well, food! Or when we scratch that special spot, and his back leg goes crazy? These antics can make even the most taciturn pet parents smile.
They keep us on our toes.
This might not seem like something to be thankful for, but it definitely is. As pet parents, we all know that our pets try our patience from time to time. Maybe the cat decided to play with the tinsel, or the dog helped himself to pumpkin pie. While no day is ever dull as a pet parent, we often forget all about the mischief our pets get into as soon as they look lovingly up at us or show us their favorite toy for the fiftieth time that day. Let’s face it, they’re just too adorable to stay mad at for very long.
Spending time training our dogs and cats also gives us a sense of purpose. Our pets love learning, and we like well-behaved pets. Training time is basically great for everyone!
They keep us healthier.
Many scientists have discovered why it’s healthier to be a pet parent. Basically, pet ownership has been proven to lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and reduce risk for heart-related health conditions. Dogs and cats also keep us healthier by keeping us active. This is probably truer of those of us who have puppies or kittens. They have so much energy that it’s exhausting just watching them sometimes, let alone chasing them all over the house or yard. Walking our dogs, playing with them, and yes, even cleaning up after them keeps dog owners especially more active than the general population, according to a report in the New York Times.
They give us all the love.
It’s true that our pets can keep us busy, but most of us couldn’t imagine life without them. All the responsibility of pet parenting comes back to us tenfold in the love our pets give us every day. We are thankful for all the warm cuddles on wintry nights, the hours of entertainment, the slobbery kisses, the calming purrs, and most of all, the endless joy dogs and cats bring to our lives. So, this Thanksgiving, be sure to let your pup or kitty know just how much they mean to you, and how much your life has changed for the better since you brought them home.