When someone authentically expresses their gratitude you can feel it! I know I can…their gratitude usually lights up my heart to the point that I end up sending gratitude to them too!
Well, it’s pretty much the same with our pets…they express gratitude like we do. It may not look exactly the same, nonetheless the expression is there.
So what does it look like when your furry loved ones express gratitude?
Most gets communicated non-verbally (however, barking or purring can be involved).
Think back. Maybe you’ve noticed some of these ways they express their loving gratitude.
Enthusiastically looking at you with twinkling eyes. Watch closely when you give them their favorite food and you’ll likely catch their gratitude for delivering such yumminess!
Loyalty and just BEing by your side. You probably see this most frequently with dogs, but it’s not an expression exclusive to dogs. I often say our furry loved ones are unconditional, devoted and steadfast even if at times we don’t put them first, yet they continue to go where we go! They love hanging out with us because they appreciate BEing together!
Nuzzling or cuddling up next to you. This can look a lot like the one above and it can be them saying, “Thanks for being here with me…and oh let’s not forget I love the warmth of your body too!”
Give kisses or hand licks. Think about a time when you helped them out by removing a sticker from a paw, for instance. What did they do immediately after? Give you a little kiss or lick your hand as a thank you perhaps?
Smile. Give a belly rub or scratch that sweet spot that feels so good and you’ll see a smile of satisfaction that says, “Thank you for knowing exactly what I like!” miss the physical smile you can probably feel it being sent in your direction!
Gentle head butts and purring loudly. Feeling your feline's head bumping or rubbing against you can also be a way of them expressing, "Thanks for being here!"
Bringing you a gift. Has your furry companion ever walked up and placed a gift at your feet or in your lap? Some pets bring their favorite toy to communicate “You’re special and I’m glad you’re my person!” Occasionally, they may bring a gift that you don’t appreciate so much, like a mouse, critter or bird they caught. Regardless, it is meant as a special gift for you.
No doubt you’ll want to express gratitude to your furry loved ones in return, so how can you do that?
You can express your gratitude by consciously giving them time and attention. This gives you both the opportunity to play, bond and connect which you both will appreciate (allowing the cycle of gratitude to continue)!
Providing structure and consistency may not be the first thing you think of as a way of showing your pet gratitude. Think about it though…one of the things that can help animals feel secure in their surroundings is helping them to know what to expect. By doing so, you are saying, “I’m grateful you’re here and I want to provide a life that you can count on to be supportive and loving!”
Gratitude received is the biggest way to show your own gratitude for your pets. Acknowledge and appreciate their gratitude by telling them thank you and that you feel grateful you chose each other.
What would you add to these lists of how pets show gratitude and how we can express it in return?
If you want to know what your furry family members have to say on the subject of gratitude, the Fur Baby Speaks experience is a great way to hear what they have to say!