As dog lovers, most of us value our canine friends as important members of our families. It's hard to put a value on the joy they bring us, but the quiet companionship they bring is invaluable. You really don't understand what their presence means until they're gone. Just simply being present in your life carries a great deal of weight.
Treating our companion animals with respect and care is only the starting point. The day you brought them into your life, you took responsibility for them. They aren't a trend, or a hobby, they are a sentient being. How often have you seen a dog chained up outside, away from the pack they want to be with? And they're barking because they want to be with the humans inside that home. They're doing the best they can to communicate that they want to be inside with their pack, not outside in the heat, cold or rain. With that being said, let's take a look at the reasons why having a companion animal and treating it with respect is important.
Dogs and cats (and others!) are sentient, emotional beings with unique personalities and needs. They feel pain, fear, and joy, just like humans. Respect and dignity go a long way in forging a bond with other living beings.
Companion animals depend on us for their wellbeing - everything from food and shelter to medical care and emotional support. We have a responsibility to provide them with the care they need to lead healthy, happy lives and neglecting their needs can lead to serious health and behavior problems.
Companion animals enhance our lives and provide us with companionship, love, and yes, they even entertain us. Our Mr. Bishi, an English Bulldog was one of the most happy go lucky bullies we ever shared our lives with and he always made us laugh and smile. Total goofball that one. And all of the things they bring to a family help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Companion animals also lower blood pressure and boost the immune system. Everybody generally wins when you invite an animal into your home.
Companion animals are capable of experiencing joy, fear, sadness, and even grief. You can read fascinating books such as Beyond Words by Carl Safina or Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery - remarkable books about non-humans. Kindness and respect helps to foster a strong bond and trust between members of the family, leading to a happier, more fulfilling relationship for both.
Bottom line is realizing that companion animals are sentient beings that depend on us for their wellbeing and enhance our lives in countless ways. By treating our dogs with care and compassion, we can foster a strong, loving bond and ensure that they lead happy, healthy lives.
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