Halloween has come and gone, which means the holiday season is in full swing. As festive decorations start popping up everywhere and coffee cups get a little more merry, it is easy to get wrapped up in the long to-do lists of the season. With holiday stress lurking around every corner, it can be hard to remember our many blessings. Luckily, our pets can remind us of the true spirit of Thanksgiving and how to be grateful.

Feeling Happy Just to Be There

Life is stressful. Between work, social engagements, finances, and trying to maintain a social life, it can feel overwhelming to just get through each day. While the lives of our pets are undoubtedly less stressful, observing them can teach us how to appreciate ours a little more. Any time you take your dog out for an adventure (or even just a walk) is the best day of his life. There’s a reason your cat purrs as she’s curled up next to you on the sofa as you watch your favorite shows. Your pets feel happy just to be there with you doing the simplest things. Seeing your face after a long day of work is the highlight of their day. They love and appreciate you so much that all it takes to make them happy is to be there with them. We as humans don’t appreciate enough how truly beautiful that is.

Using Short-Term Memory

Although there are some traumatic events that stay with our furry friends, on the whole, they tend to forget bad things much quicker than humans do. A confrontational interaction while driving might affect your mood for the whole day. Your dog, however, will forget about visiting the veterinarian about an hour after you get home (it might take your cat just a little longer to forgive). Our pets can show us how to stay present and appreciate the current moment instead of letting the past or future dictate our moods.

The True Spirit of Thanksgiving: Being Grateful for the Small Things

Another way our pets can teach us more about gratitude is their incredible appreciation for the simple things in life. A tennis ball can keep your dog entertained for hours. Cats keep themselves busy in cardboard boxes. These small things that humans tend to overlook daily add so much joy and enrichment to the life of an animal. While a cardboard box might not hold the same appeal for us, there are plenty of small things you encounter daily that can bring you joy. Try to spend a little extra time enjoying your coffee tomorrow. Take the scenic route to work. Go for a walk and appreciate the beauty in your neighborhood. And, of course, give your wonderful pets a few extra cuddles.

As we move toward Thanksgiving, let’s acknowledge that our pets can remind us of the true spirit of Thanksgiving–gratitude and joy in simple things.

At Westarbor Animal Hospital, we feel incredibly grateful for you and your pets. It truly brings us joy to offer veterinary services to help enhance your lives together. To learn more or to schedule your next visit, please call (734) 769-5391.

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