Why You Shouldn’t Take Your Pet’s Love for Granted
Snoopy loves you.
Okay, maybe your pet isn’t named Snoopy. Maybe it’s not even a dog. But the idea’s the same.
The love of a pet is pure and unconditional. Over time, you’ll learn (or have already learned) each other’s personalities, and if you’re good to your furry/hairy/feathery/scaly friend, they’ll return your love in kind. (I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of a fish or reptile showing love, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.)
According to the 2019–2020 American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey, 67% of U.S. households own a pet, which is just under 85 million homes! These people know that a pet’s love is to be cherished and respected as much as that of a close family member or friend.
You come home from work (or leave your home office) and there she is — the adorable animal that shares your home. Sometimes our pets are the first ones to greet us at the door, and not because they’re hungry, although that’s a popular reason. No, sometimes the four-legged child is simply happy to see you.
Some cats purr and rub against everything in sight, or flop onto the floor for a belly rub; many dogs jump around, tails wagging, paws skating over the kitchen tiles. Almost any able-bodied, loving pet not kept in a cage or tank will make a big deal of your arrival.
For me, a purring cat is the most relaxing, natural sound ever to be experienced. When my cat is satisfied and on full throttle, I can put my ear against her furry body and hear a sound akin to an idling Harley, but calming and sweet. You even done that?
Maybe not. Maybe you prefer the licking tongue and happy yelps from a jumping dog, providing inner warmth like no other. Excitement can be a sign of happiness and contentment in pets, and countless wagging tails show dog owners the world over how delighted their canine friends are to see them.
Other people revel in the cute chirping, whistling, and twittering of a parakeet or other bird. When you walk in the door, how great it must be to hear your feathered companion (if you have a parrot that can emulate human speech) say something like, “Rrrauk! Welcome home!”
It’s play time!
I haven’t encountered one happy, healthy pet that didn’t like to get rambunctious and play now and then. A variety of toys can help stimulate the mind as well as the body, depending on the pet’s personality and age. If your pet is happily gnawing on a chew toy or scampering after some plushy creation, they’re indirectly showing appreciation for your efforts.
When you pet drops a favorite toy at your feet, remember to keep an open mind, since this beginning-of-play-time decision may not coincide with your own schedule. If your cat, dog, or other pet is still learning the house rules, gently but firmly continue enforcing them, since most animals learn by association and repetition.
But if you’re in the middle of something, decide how important your activity truly is. Would it kill you to play tug-of-war with a rope or toss a fake mouse across the room a few times? No.
This is the life
Spending quality down time with your pet can be pleasant, too. Watching the world from a window, lying in the afternoon sun, resting a drowsy head on your lap while you read, curled up under (or on) your desk while you use the computer; these are sure signs that your pet enjoys being near you during quiet time. It’s one of the best times to silently bond with your fur ball, perhaps adding a light stroke or a scratch behind the ears for extra enjoyment.
They help keep us sane
I’ve heard countless stories (and had plenty of my own days) of a pet helping someone cope with a tough time in their life. Whether it’s a stressful workday or the loss of a loved one, you can usually count on a kitten cuddle, a puppy lick, or maybe a horse nicker to tell you they’re there for you.
During these pandemic days, all of us could use more companionship. If you have a healthy pet, so much the better.
Where does this love come from?
It’s been said that most animals know a good person when they meet one, especially animals that come from abusive homes. Once they realize they’re well cared for, some will defend their new home as much as they’re able, reserving their undying affection and loyalty for the one or two humans who create the warmth and comfort they desire. Other pets are simply grateful. Some will need help, while others inherently know who to trust.
For more detailed information on pet psychology, take a look at the website of Dr. Warren Eckstein, international pet expert.
The love of a pet is a wonderful feeling for any responsible animal owner. If you keep your pet safe, healthy, and happy, they’ll repay you with a devotion and love that’s rarely seen in the human world. Whether from a cat, dog, horse, bird, iguana, or any other animal, you’ll enjoy a special emotional bond between species that will be etched in your memory forever.
Thanks for reading!