With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many of us can’t help but look at our pets and remember the day we fell in love with them. We are fortunate to share our lives with such caring (and cute) animals, which is why we do everything we can to keep our pets happy and healthy.
However, pets do a lot for us, too. They teach us how to love unconditionally and be a good friend. They are also there to lend a comforting paw in times of need.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Dr. Sarah Griffin, a lecturer at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, described some of the ways our pets show us love and affection.
“Cats show affection by purring, sitting in your lap, rubbing against your leg, and following you around,” Griffin said. “Sometimes, they may even gently nip or bite you.”
Cat owners may also find that their pet brings them toys; random, found objects (such as hair ties); or even a small bird or mouse. This is considered a present and is a sign that your kitty loves and cares for you.
Dogs show affection through tail wagging, licking, and playing with their owners, Griffin said. Dogs may also curl up next to you for a nap, especially after a relaxing walk. When this happens, it is common courtesy to go ahead and take a nap, too.
With all the love our pets show us, it’s no surprise that they have plenty of love for other animals.
Both dogs and cats will play, cuddle, groom each other, and nap together. Though dogs and cats are sometimes portrayed as enemies, it is actually common for dogs and cats to become cuddle-buddies and friends.
There is no doubt that pets are a special part of the family. This Valentine’s Day (and every day), appreciate the gift of unconditional love from your pet. Reciprocate love not only to your pet, but also to the family and friends in your life.
Pet Talk is a service of the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Stories can be viewed on the web at vetmed.tamu.edu/pet-talk. Suggestions for future topics may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org