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Pets bring so much joy, love, and entertainment into our lives. As we reflect on what we are grateful for this Thanksgiving season, it’s worth celebrating how much our four-legged family members enhance our lives. To help pet parents fully appreciate how wonderful their pets are, we have curated a list of ten reasons why your pet should receive plenty of thanks!

Companionship Is Priceless
There is nothing quite like the spark of joy that comes from greeting your pet at home after a long day. Their tail wags, sweet snuggles, and purrs always seem to brighten up a room.

There is something inherently comforting about knowing that you have a loyal and loving companion who is always ready to stand by your side. So when you return home, be sure to reciprocate your pet’s unwavering affection and take some time to be thankful for your unique companion.

Pets Keep You Moving
Pets improve your physical health by keeping you active. Studies have shown that people who live with pets are more likely to experience health benefits like improved physical fitness, decreased blood pressure, and lower cholesterol. 

You have probably noticed that play is a crucial part of your pet’s world and their idea of playing often requires physical activity. Walking, running, throwing a ball, or even swishing around a cat wand are all forms of healthy physical activity for both humans and their pets. Companion animals encourage their family to exercise daily, and they even make exercise and daily life more enjoyable with their antics and infectious sense of joy!

Companion Animals Provide An Endless Amount Of Happiness
It’s easy for life circumstances to impact your mood negatively, but your pet is capable of providing some happiness.

Maybe you have noticed that even after a difficult day, a little quality time with your pet leaves you feeling more refreshed and recharged. This is because interaction with pets has been proven to reduce stress hormones and even stimulate mood-boosting hormones. That’s right. Your pet can literally feed into your sense of happiness. So next time you find yourself enjoying some quality time with your pet or enjoying a good laugh at their comical behavior, you should consider thanking them with some treats and love.

Pets Are The Best Listeners
Pets are keenly aware of their parent’s behavior, so they are sure to notice when something is off. They can detect emotional changes, like sadness or distress. Once they know something is up, their constant attention makes you feel like you owe them an explanation.

Speaking out loud has been shown to help people think through complex problems and come to terms with difficult situations. Luckily, pets love to be talked to, and they can’t talk back, at least not with words which helps make them good listeners. Even better, they provide unconditional love and comfort regardless of the circumstance. With your furry best friend around, you will never go unheard.

Animals Remind Us To See The Beauty In Little Things
Pets view the world in an entirely different light than people. Something as simple as snow or watching a bird outside the window can be enough to fill our pets with joy. 

When our pets stop to enjoy the little things in life, we get the opportunity to slow down and do the same. In a way, they remind us to be thankful daily, which supports a healthy and happy mental state.

Pets Connect Us To Others
Many beautiful friendships have started with pet pictures and the simple phrase “may I pet your dog?” Loving a pet is an experience that provides an immediate point of connection between animal lovers. Having an animal present can make social situations more comfortable and reinforce social bonds.

When you are giving thanks to friends this holiday season, take time to reflect on how many of those relationships were influenced by your pet. You may be amazed!

Your Furry Friend Provides You With Protection
Even if your pet isn’t trained to protect you, every pet has the potential to offer his or her family protection in one way or another. Pets have protected their families from break-ins, fires and even alerted them to life-threatening medical conditions. On a less life-altering scale, your pet is helping to protect you from loneliness! 

Animals Nurture Our Relationship With Nature
Animals have a strong connection with nature, and their wild traits help people appreciate the natural world. They encourage us to take a break from our work and mundane daily tasks to spend time outdoors.

Whether you are enjoying mountainous hikes with your pet or enjoying the sun in your backyard, every second of fresh air they encourage you to enjoy is valuable.

Your Pet Doesn’t Have To Be A Service Animal To Enrich Your Life
Service and emotional support animals help individuals and protect societies in various ways, but every pet can enrich the lives of the people he or she meets. Studies have shown that pets can improve people’s well-being in every age range. Many times, these pets are not specially trained to provide these benefits.

You Never Have To Eat Alone
It’s hard to ignore pets, who may often enjoy lingering around the dinner table. Although you may generally be bothered by your pet’s begging, it is comforting to know that you will never eat a meal alone in their company.

Most pets can’t fully share in traditional family holiday staples, but they can enjoy a special treat from the pet store as a special holiday for them and a sign of your appreciation for how they enhance your life.