Fun fact about me: give me kids or dogs (I am allergic to cats), and I will take great care of them- plants, well, let’s just say that I do not have a green thumb, lol. I have had dogs all of my life- labs or golden retrievers. We even had an indoor-outdoor cat named Stacey as a child. Currently, I have a labrador and a golden retriever, and I love my dogs! 

I believe that, as parents, we are responsible for instilling values of compassion, kindness, and empathy in our children. Did you know that one crucial aspect of this is teaching them to treat animals with love and respect? 

“We can tell how advanced a society is by how they treat their animals.” This quote, often attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, holds a profound truth. It speaks volumes about the character and compassion of a community. Our pets are more than just companions; they’re members of our families. Here are a few reasons why treating our pets well is essential for us humans:

1. Pets Teach Responsibility: Taking care of a pet requires commitment and responsibility. Children who learn to care for animals develop valuable life skills such as empathy, nurturing, and time management. Pets literally can’t eat or drink without us.

2. Pets Provide Unconditional Love: Pets offer us unwavering love and companionship, no matter what. (This statement is a bit of an exaggeration. My dogs have personalities of their own and can be provocative with intentions behind their actions. For example, stealing socks from the clean laundry basket and parading them in front of me for attention. Gotta love my lab and this happened today.) They comfort us in times of need and celebrate with us in moments of joy. In return, they deserve our love and care.

3. Pets Enhance Emotional Well-being: Studies have shown that pet ownership can have numerous benefits for mental health, including reducing stress, anxiety, and loneliness. They are good listeners too. By treating our pets well, we contribute to their happiness and well-being, as well as our own. 

4. Pets Deserve Respect: Every living creature deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Our pets may not be able to speak for themselves, but they feel pain, fear, and joy just like we do. It’s our responsibility to ensure they live happy and fulfilling lives. 

As parents, we have the opportunity to lead by example and teach our children the importance of treating animals with kindness and compassion. By doing so, we not only create a better world for our furry friends but also for future human generations. Enjoy your pets- I do; they make me smile. 


Dr. Marnee
(Mom of 4- 2 humans & 2 dogs)