Personal Development

8 Important Life Lessons We Can Learn From Our Pets

Animals, pets in particular, live their lives in an exemplary and positive way. There's so much they can teach us—we just have to watch and learn from them.

Humans are the most intelligent creatures on the planet. The fact that humans can think and reason made us stand out among our other living counterparts. I know everyone, especially those who are pet parents, will agree that while we are smart, animals have a smarter and healthier way of living compared to us.

Let’s look at eight things we can learn from our pets about life.

1. Live life with loyalty.

Pets, especially dogs, are famed for being loyal to the family who takes care of them. I have had two male dogs for about 5 years now and can definitely attest to this.

Who can forget about the most loyal dog of all: Hatchiko? Imagine waiting at a train station for years for your family to return. The thought just makes me appreciate pet animals more than ever.

There’s a reason why dogs are referred to as man’s best friend. They are very loyal to humans and will protect them even if doing so costs them their lives. We can emulate this attitude by honoring family and friends with our words and actions and standing by their side no matter what.

2. Appreciate all things, big or small.

Our pets are delighted by any kind of treat we give them.

They don’t care about the brand of food or the size of the treat. They care more about our effort and they return that attention, thought and effort by showing us that they appreciate it.

Cats purr and dogs wag their tails to let us know that they appreciate something. We can follow their example by showing our appreciation of the people around us, regardless of how big or small of an effort or action is.

3. Do not hold grudges.

Dogs forget their owners’ shortcomings easily unlike people. Despite waiting for us all day while we’re at work, dogs are always happy to see us when we return home. They greet us enthusiastically despite our absence because they don’t hold grudges—unlike people.

Grudges weigh us down and make our walk in life more stressful. So, if you’re carrying grudges, let them go. Do it for yourself. You will then understand how dogs live, and you’ll wish you had done it sooner.

4. Work hard and play hard.

the dog in the water

Dogs work when they are required to. They guard our homes when we sleep or when we are away. However, when it’s play time, dogs play like they haven’t worked at all and are full of energy.

Most of us bury ourselves in our jobs, thinking the more work we do, the more productive we are. We forget that we are just human and our bodies suffer a lot of wear and tear. We are not machines. We can be more productive by taking a break so that when we get back to work, we have renewed energy and fresher ideas to deliver an excellent job.

5. Do not judge others and give people a chance.

Yes, some dogs dislike some other dogs, but dogs are generally very social beings that pretty much get along with anyone and anything.

In contrast, people tend to be more prejudiced. We have a tendency to judge each other even if we have not yet heard each other’s story. The world would be a better place if we let go of our pride and prejudices and practiced not jumping to conclusions.

6. Ask for help.

Our pets depend on us for food and pretty much everything else. When they need help, they give us signals so we know what it is they need help with. They don’t attempt to do everything themselves because they know what they can or cannot do.

Most people find the idea of having to ask for help uncomfortable. It might be because of our ego and pride. Whatever the reason, valid or not, there will come a time that we need help. When we get there, let’s be humble enough to admit that we cannot do it ourselves and that we need help.

7. Wear your heart on your sleeve.

Lovely dog chumping a branch

What we see is what we get from our pets. They do not hide their emotions and they show us exactly how they feel. We never have to guess.

Life is short and we should take a page from our pets’ book when it comes to behavior. Let us show the people we love that we value the relationship we have with them and that we cherish them before it’s too late.

8. Love unconditionally.

Dogs love their families without conditions. Whether we get home early from work or leave them all day, they still look forward to spending time with us and love us all the same.

This is perhaps the area people struggle with the most. Since no relationship is foolproof, it can be hard to love others without expecting anything in return.

This is normal and expected. We can do better though by being more forgiving and more considerate of our loved ones. It’s the least we can do for the people who look out for us.

We only live once so we might as well live in a way that benefits us and the people in our communities. Let’s take these simple yet powerful lessons from our pets to heart and apply them to our personal lives. We may be surprised how life-changing these lessons can be when applied daily, especially when they develop as habits.

Do you have pets? What are other lessons you think can be learned from animals? Share your ideas in the comments.

About the author

Maine Belonio

Maine Belonio is a twenty-something mom and writer who has a penchant for coffee, long distance running, Tolkien, Switchfoot, and Jesus.

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