Pet Psychology: Getting Inside Your Pet’s Head
For a substantial part of human history, people thought that nuanced emotions like joy, empathy, and despair were specific to the human race. However, if there’s anything companion animals teach us, it’s that they feel – and feel quite deeply.
Thanks to current trends involving the anthropomorphizing of animals, as well as the scientific data to back it up, it has become common knowledge that animals feel pain and common emotions just as people do. But just how do they think…? And what do they think about?
The field of pet psychology is growing – and for good reason. If you’ve ever thought that your pet was looking deeply into your soul, or reading your mind, you are not alone.
Hopefully, your pet’s experiences in life are radiant. Indeed, he or she hears, sees, and senses the world in ways that are sharper than your own. Even basic observation of your pet would likely reveal that he or she understands personal identity and individual place in your home.
Because your pet instinctively interprets the world, he or she can play, behave, compete, and commit to the tenets of survival, such as securing shelter or food, and caring for young. To many animal behaviorists, this signals conscious thought.
Your pet’s wonderful brain triggers thoughts, actions, and emotions that we can clearly see and do our best to understand. Sure, we might be wrong occasionally, but it’s quite clear that animals – and their distinct personalities – think, recall memorable experiences, and make judgements accordingly.
Pet psychology also shows us that your pet communicates all the time. Perhaps not in a language you fully grasp (or in full sentences), he or she has ideas, expectations, and memorized routines that are expressed to you nonverbally.
Whether young or aging, you’ve seen your pet sleep (sometimes for 12-14 hours everyday!). Twitching whiskers, moving paws, and maybe even a bark or two, all signal that your pet is experiencing a dream.
Evidence suggests that, like us, animals dream of common, everyday life experiences. Look closely and you’ll probably see your pet’s eyes moving behind closed lids, suggesting that he or she is seeing images as if they were real. Rapid eye movement, or REM, is the state of sleep that we confirm a dream state, indicating that our pets are experiencing a similar (if not identical) sensation.
A+ in Pet Psychology
Trying to understand your pet’s behavior or habits can be a lifelong pursuit, but we can all but guarantee that it will be a fun ride. The evolving field of pet psychology endeavors to improve quality of life and support relationships, and we can’t help but be on board with that!
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Schertz Animal Hospital
Since 1976, Schertz Animal Hospital has offered the greater San Antonio area outstanding pet care. Our state-of-the-art animal hospital in Schertz, TX compliments our stress-free handling and experienced veterinary staff. Make an appointment online or give us a call at (210) 659-0345 today!