According to the online dictionary, gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. I’m a big fan of gratitude because research has shown that having a deliberate practice of gratitude, such as making a list at the end of every day of the things you are grateful for that day, improves your emotional health and well being and consequently your physical health and well being.

I have a gratitude practice and can attest that the research is correct!

In fact, back in the day when I worked as a professional life coach I asked all my clients to start a gratitude journal and people’s minds were generally blown around just how impactful this one thing can be. As an aside (and so you don’t think your on the wrong blog because I haven’t mentioned dogs yet), I can not tell you how helpful being a certified life coach has been in my dog training work! My training in that field helps me to get people to see their dogs from a new perspective which usually translates into more compassion for their pups.

All that as a lead in to say that, although scientists may debate whether dogs can feel gratitude, we pet moms and dads know differently. All it takes is to look at the face of a rescued pup when you take him home and give him his own bed and you simply can’t deny that dogs understand gratitude.

So, I unscientifically asked around to my dog friends who want to share the following list of things they are grateful to YOU for!

So, without further ado, here are 13 Things Your Dog Is Grateful For This Year:

  1. That you adopted her.
  2. That you feed him healthy meals that provide good nutrition and dietary variety.
  3. That you walk her multiple times a day and that some of those walks are her choice.
  4. That you provide him with a safe, secure and comfortable place to sleep.
  5. That you keep her healthy with regular veterinarian visits and wellness practices.
  6. That you keep him from getting lost by chipping him and keeping him on a leash or in a fully fenced play area.
  7. That you support her to have excellent behavior by teaching her what you want her to do.
  8. That you only ever use positive reinforcement practices when training him.
  9. That you provide safe, fun and enriching toys and activities to keep her mind engaged.
  10. That you take time to be close to him and give him cuddles and belly rubs.
  11. That you never raise your voice or hit her when she makes mistakes and does something you don’t like.
  12. That you have committed to keeping him as part of your family for his entire life, even when he is old or it becomes inconvenient.

Jake would like me to add that he is also grateful for the existence of peanut butter and for the bi-monthly massages his friend Tracee of Spry Dog Massage gives him.

I am grateful that Jake is my BFF and that he taught me a new way of life living with a beautiful canine and that, together, we created a brand new life for ourselves.

Can you or your pup add more in the comments?