10 Reasons to Give Thanks for Your Pets
Thanksgiving in America is around the corner, and gratefulness for our pets is near the top of the list for what we’re thankful for. Here are the top 10 reasons we are thankful for the pets who share our lives (although, truly, the list is endless).
- Pets are so darn adorable! Their utter cuteness just has to be reason #1 for being thankful for pets. Go look at your pet or a picture of your pet right now! You are sure to smile.
- Pets help you stay active. Having a pet to care for helps you get more exercise and stay active. From walks to grooming to playing to lugging their food home from the grocery, you move more when you have a pet.
- Pets help you socialize. When you’re around an animal, people feel free to be more friendly around you. Cats and dogs give us something interesting to talk about with acquaintances (not boring, like the weather or risky, like politics). Plus, if you’re out and about walking your dog, you’re certain to meet more neighbors.
- Pets help your mental health. A survey from the American Psychiatric Association shows that 86% of pet owners report that “pets have a mostly positive impact on their mental health.”
- Pets probably help you stay healthier. When you see how pets help you stay active, socialize and improve mental health, it’s no surprise that having a pet generally improves people’s health. The NIH reports that interacting with animals decreases cortisol levels and lowers blood pressure.
- Pets are fun! Sure, there is increasing scientific evidence for the benefit of pets, but let’s not forget why we welcomed them into our families to begin with. We wanted a fun friend, not just a mutually-beneficial relationship.
- Pets are funny! How many times has your pet made you laugh? You have probably lost count! Their sweet antics, naughty hijinks and irresistible expressions bring joy to our lives.
- Pets help us understand others. When we see things from the perspective of our pets, it helps us imagine things beyond our own experience. Caring for a pet can encourage us to be more empathetic to all people and creatures.
- Pets love us like no other. They spend time studying our every move, learning our habits and breathing in our scent. We are their whole lives.
- And they give us opportunity to return the love! They accept our cuddles and conversation and are happy to be loved by us. It’s truly wonderful.