Among all negative emotions, jealousy is one heck of a feeling to deal with. When it hits, it can drive your mind into thinking that your relationship is not secured, and can even lead to extreme actions. However, it’s a different story for your pets. You notice them snuggling up to your partner, demanding their attention, giving them lots of cuddles, and making them smile harder than you ever did. You gotta admit the loss against them when it comes to stealing your significant other’s heart and acting all sweet and smug about it! But let’s face it, who wouldn’t give in to their irresistible charm!
We’ve gathered some of the best photos that demonstrate how unapologetically pets (from silly doggies to beautiful catties) stealing the attention that our loved ones should be spending on us! Prepare to have your mood lifted and to laugh so hard that you might give away your pet to your significant other! Scroll down and don’t forget to upvote the photos that look the most lovey-dovey!
"Anyone who has ever owned a pet will recognize their ability to understand their owner’s moods. Who hasn’t sat down in misery and found their dog has hopped up next to them nudging their arm, wanting to be there for them, or their cat has jumped up on the seat next to them in a comforting way? This doesn’t happen by accident," PDSA vet James said
According to the vet, research has found that many animals experience consciousness and emotions comparable to human beings. "They pick up on moods, emotions, and pheromones produced by people and other animals. By responding to these and acting accordingly, they are reacting with empathy, but this will definitely apply to some pets more than others."
Vet James pointed out that mammals feel a wide range of emotions, from love, happiness, and excitement to fear, distress, and others. "It’s incredibly important that we respect and nurture our pets so that they can enjoy a happy life with us. Our pets have individual needs; some pets may be very sociable while others less so. As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to provide for your pet’s five welfare needs, including their need for love and attention, and you can’t do that unless you learn about the species you’re planning to share your life with."
The PDSA vet continued, stressing that socializing with our pets is a must: "A sociable animal won’t thrive in life if their need for companionship isn’t met. How many of us humans have struggled with lockdown? We’re sociable creatures and the lack of social interaction has meant that lots of us are finding things hard, but can you imagine if we had to live like this permanently? We wouldn’t want to inflict that on our sociable pets either."
However, sharing a home with other animals (whether of their own species or not) can be stressful for certain pets. This might have a negative impact on their mental and physical wellbeing. "It’s really important to research your pets so that you know you’re providing the right kind of environment for them so you can share a happy life together," the vet said.
It won’t surprise any pet owner to learn that animals have a highly-developed sense of empathy toward their owners, as well as their own kind. (I mean, who doesn’t like getting and giving hugs?) However, this doesn’t mean that everyone’s always lovey-dovey and super-cuddlesome. Sometimes, there’s some calculation on our pets’ part involved, too!
Dr. Suzanne MacDonald of York University's Department of Psychology in Toronto. She helped us in gaining a better understanding of pet intelligence as a whole.
Dr. MacDonald explained that, based on her experience with pet owners, they “tend to overestimate” just how intelligent, smart, and clever their adorable animals are. This is pretty natural because we love our pets just so very much.
According to Dr. Macdonald, it’s dog owners in particular that tend to overestimate their pets’ intelligence. “Dog owners tend to overestimate their intelligence because dogs and humans co-evolved so we can read each other’s cues very well. Dogs are super great at picking up small cues from us, and they look to us when they need help... so they have learned to do things—like have a 'guilty' face, for example—that make us think they have the same intentions and understanding that humans do... even if the research shows that they don’t."
Dr. Macdonald added that pet owners generally tend to attribute a lot more cognitive complexity to their animals than research shows that they have in reality. Now, this doesn’t mean that our pets are ‘dumb.’ Not by a long shot. But it does mean that we should be realistic about how smart and capable our best buddies are… and what dogs are willing to do to get a snack or an extra belly rub.
Inbal Ben-Ami Bartal, a biologist, talks about rat empathy. She explained that empathy is a difficult concept to grasp. “The definition of empathy, how can we say that animals really feel empathy the same way we do. But empathy is a construct. We don’t even know what it is in humans really!”
Bartal continued: “I operate on the assumption that there is an evolutionary continuum between species, and that the basic building blocks of our responses are shared. Being sensitive to distress in others and motivated to care about their suffering is as old as the moment mother and child became connected for survival after birth.”
In other words, Bartal believes that all conscious animals share a feeling of empathy (albeit the quantity and manner in which it is exhibited may vary). When we consider empathy as a continuum rather than a dichotomy, it raises a lot of problems regarding morality and how we treat animals.
According to Bartal and other experts, socialization is an important part of empathy. To put it clearly, the more we socialize with someone and spend quality time with them, the more emotionally attached we will grow to them and the more willing we will be to make sacrifices for them.
Not to get ahead of ourselves, but this discovery sounds a lot like scientists discovering the building blocks of love, devotion, or whatever you want to call the starry-eyed look on your pets' faces as they hug you while your partner watches on in awe.