By Linda Cole
When we accept the role of caring for a pet, we have the responsibility of providing for their needs. Many pet owners view their dog or cat as a valued member of their family, lovingly referring to them as their furry kids. I’m sure pets have no concept of what “family” or “parent” means, but in their eyes, our role is one of provider, protector and educator, which are the chief duties of a parent, even in the animal world.
As responsible pet owners, most of us worry about our pets when they’re home alone. We buy winter coats and boots to keep our dogs warm, provide pets with their own beds, give them toys and puzzle games, make sure they have a high quality food like CANIDAE, and include them in family activities. We share a bond – an emotional bond similar to that of parent and child.
Lisa Horn and a team of researchers conducted a study at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, to see how dogs reacted to their owners. According to the study, the way dogs interact with their owners is much the same as children interacting with their parents. Canines have done an amazing job of adapting to us over the centuries, and from a dog’s point of view, we are social partners, replacing other animals of their own species. If you’ve always felt your bond with your dog is special, you’re right. Dogs have a deep connection with owners they share a bond with, similar to the connection parents have with their young children.
By Julia Williams
I can’t count the times I’ve heard someone say “My pet is definitely a part of the family.” Some people, myself included, even say that the pet is “like a child” to them. No, that doesn’t mean we think they are children. We know the difference between human offspring and pets. Yet there are also many similarities between raising kids and raising pets. There’s no reason our pets can’t be an integral part of our family unit, and what better time to strengthen that special human-animal bond than during the holiday season?
For many of us, the holiday season is filled with family traditions – activities and events that make this magical time of the year a pure delight for kids and parents alike. That’s all well and good, but if your dog or cat is a part of your family, why not think of some ways you can include them in your favorite holiday traditions?
Fido and Fluffy might not know what the holiday season is all about, but they do know they love you and enjoy the time you spend with them. Isn’t that what counts? Our pets probably won’t get miffed if there are no gifts for them under the tree and no stocking hung by the chimney with care, but what harm does it do to include them? None at all! Plus, including the family pets in your holiday plans can create some wonderful, happy memories for your family.
Below are some ways you can make the holiday season fun for your pet. But don’t stop there! I’m certain that with a little thought, almost any tradition your family enjoys during this time of year can be modified to include your four legged family member. Although it may not make a big difference to your dog or cat, it can give you and your children treasured memories that will last a lifetime.
By Tamara McRill
We love our dogs like they are part of the family, but they are more than just cute rambunctious balls of fur offering endless amusement. They can actually make a family unit stronger, on emotional and physical levels. Sometimes I think we can only aspire to give as much back to those we love as our pets enrich our lives.
How do dogs make a family bond stronger and help us live better lives? Let’s count the ways.
1. Creating Memories and Milestones
If you’ve ever been around a tightly knit family, then you have probably heard a few stories about their shared recollections and probably a few pet memories. Having a dog creates a shared being to love, and we tend to note the things those we love do. And dogs seem to provide endless antics for us to notice.
Beyond their antics, milestones in our pets’ lives become ones in our own. When my family begins reminiscing about past Christmases, the first one brought up is almost always the Christmas Eve our family dog, Daisy, had puppies. She brought extra joy to the holiday and added to our family history.
2. Bonding Over Common Ground
It’s these moments and what people have in common that make them close. People are so diverse in interests, and just plain busy doing their own thing, that common ground can be hard to find, even if they are related. Even when family members feel like they have little to say to each other, they can still talk meaningfully about their pets, or work together to feed or play with them.
This can open the channels of communication and lead to further conversation on other topics, instead of everyone retreating behind closed bedroom doors.