7 Reasons to Be Thankful for Dogs

When you're gathered around the table this Thanksgiving with your friends and family, counting all the things you're thankful for, keep in mind that there's someone under the table who deserves a special holiday shoutout: your dog! Yes, it's that furry, four-legged family member, the one who really wants (but shouldn't have) your leftovers. Take some time this year to celebrate your dog — after all, he loves you very much and asks for nothing in return (although, he would probably appreciate a treat or two).

We thought of seven reasons we’re thankful for our canine friends, but we know there are probably hundreds more. Please share why you’re thankful for your dog in the comments section below.

Why We're Grateful for Dogs

Cute dog being walked


They Help Keep You in Shape

Nothing will motivate you to get up off the couch and go for a walk like a dog pacing by the door. Not only does this simple activity help forge a bond with your furry best friend, but studies have shown that walking a dog for just 30 minutes a day can reduce your risk of heart disease, relieve stress and more. Now that’s something to be thankful for.

Dog wrapped in a blanket

They're Expert Cuddlers

So, you sometimes might complain that your Great Dane takes up your entire king-sized bed, and maybe you can hardly sit down without your Pomeranian jumping in your lap, but admit it: Snuggling with your pup is the best. And how could it not be? It’s a sign that your dog loves you. As you watch the big game with your family this Thanksgiving, save a spot on the couch for your dog; he’ll definitely appreciate it.

Dog giving side-eye

They Don't Judge

Dogs don’t care about the following things: what you look like, how much money you make, what you do for a living, how much you weigh, who you’re going to vote for in 2016, where you grew up, who you love or what you do in your free time. We could go on, but you get the idea: Dogs accept you for who you are and aren’t going to try to change you or make fun of you or gossip about you — something that we could all be better about. 

Dog with toy in mouth

They Know How to Have Fun

Grab a ball or a toy and look at your dog’s face. See that smile? Doesn’t he look like he’s having the time of his life? Chances are, if your dog’s having a good time, you are, too. There are so many activities you can do together that are fun: playing fetch, going for a walk, hiking, teaching tricks and trying agility. Imagine all the things you’d miss out on if you didn't have a dog!

Dog in owner's lap


They'll Comfort You When You're Sad

When you’re feeling down, sometimes the best comfort comes from your four-legged friends. In fact, studies have shown that people who have pets are more likely to have better self-esteem and tend to be less lonely, less fearful, less depressed and less preoccupied than people who don’t own pets. The holidays can be an especially tough time for some people — be grateful that you have a loyal companion who will be by your side through thick and thin.

Pugs driving a car

They Know How to Put a Smile on Your Face

We dare you to spend an hour with your dog and not smile. It’s impossible. We’ve tried. It’s hard not to laugh when a dog chases his tail, performs a trick on command or cocks his head. There’s no way you can watch this video of a dog jumping through a pile of leaves without cracking a smile. Plus, if you’re smiling because of your dog, we bet the people around you are smiling, too.

Happy dog being petted


They Love You Unconditionally

No matter who you are or what you do, your dog loves you unconditionally. There are no ultimatums, like: I’ll only love you if you buy me that polka dot collar by January 2. Your dog won’t stop hanging out with you because he made a new best friend who’s cooler than you are and gives out better treats. Really, thoughts like these would never even cross his mind because a dog’s love has no bounds, and your pup is happy just to be a part of your forever family.

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