Be Thankful for Pets: 10 Reasons to Be Grateful This Thanksgiving

By Katya Lidsky-Friedman

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On Thanksgiving, we all get to set aside some time to reflect and be thankful. To be grateful. To count our blessings and feel lucky for what we have. Hopefully, you can give thanks for your health, your loved ones, and your many achievements and opportunities. But how about your pets? Let’s all vow to give a special moment this holiday season to give thanks to our furry friends for the unique love they provide and the countless ways in which they enrich our lives. Here are 10 reasons to be grateful for pets this Thanksgiving.

1. They make us laugh.

Pets are always finding new ways to make us laugh. Whether they be old pets, new pets, or foster dogs and cats — we find ourselves in stitches over their hilarious antics. All pets have their own personalities, their own jokes, and their own way of being funny. Thank you to our four-legged friends for keeping us cracking up.

2. They keep us present.

Pets don’t live in the past or in the future. They’re living in the present like a furry little Buddha. They remind us to be mindful, to take deep breaths, to let go of past or future moments, and to be in the now. We thank pets for reminding us that the present is a gift.

3. They keep us company.

Who doesn’t love a good snuggle buddy to enjoy a good movie with? Pets make fantastic friends because they are simply masters of loyalty and companionship. It’s hard to be lonely when you have a devoted pal to spend your time with. We appreciate our furry friends for their incredible friendship.

4. They give us purpose.

Helping homeless pets feels good. It feels right. It feels worthy and meaningful because it is, in fact, worthy and meaningful. Because regardless of how you do it or how much time you have to share, giving back to animals is a wonderful way to volunteer and be of service. We’re thankful to help animals and, in turn, be given a mission we can believe in.

5. They make great teachers.

They’re non-judgemental. We can make mistakes in front of them and they don’t mind. They’re always there to lick away a tear or cuddle next to us when we need support. Pets allow us to learn as we go, to fail, and to be imperfect – and they love us anyway. We are indebted to animals for accepting us just as we are.

6. They keep us active.

Pets keep us active because they need regular walks, playtime, and socialization to keep both mentally and physically stimulated. Dogs make terrific running, walking, or hiking buddies. Cats love to play. By providing bunnies with a safe and enclosed area to frolic outside, rabbits can encourage us to soak up some sunshine. Horses pull us towards nature. High fives or high paws to all our pets for keeping us full of life and energy.

7. They challenge us.

Some pets are easier than others. Some are a more natural fit for your lifestyle. But we believe all animals deserve a chance at a happy life. Time and time again, we see that even pets who challenge us offer tremendous value and always reward us with as much as we put in. Whether it’s a more difficult pet with behavioral or health issues, a dog who takes extra time to smell the grass on a walk, or a kitty who just can’t get where the litterbox is, all animals require consistency, patience, and love from us in order to succeed. We get to become a team with our pets as we work with them.

8. They make us feel like rock stars.

Let’s be real — we all love how excited our pets get each and every time we come home. Even when you just step out of the shower, the display of adoration and dedication is good for the ego. Animals aren’t afraid or embarrassed to shower us with love and to show us how much we mean to them. We are so grateful to our dogs for making us feel as awesome and interesting as rock stars.

9. They make us better.

Our pets improve us in so many ways. Studies show that petting an animal can reduce a person’s heart rate as well as their blood pressure, and animals keep us physically healthier overall because they keep us moving. And the endless joy they bring increases our mental health. By focusing on positive reinforcement with our pets, we learn to pay attention to what we love about others, and it keeps us focusing on the good. Thanks to our pets for all the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits they grant us.

10. They let live with gratitude.

Look at the list above. We thank our own pets and all pets for keeping us thankful. With their help, every day can be Thanksgiving.

Katya Lidsky is a published writer, host of “The Animal That Changed You” podcast, and a life coach for Dog People. She is also a mother and the creator of a one-woman show, entitled “I’m Sorry.”

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