One of the biggest mistakes that humans can make about their pets is assuming that they are not very intelligent. While they clearly don’t understand everything as an adult human would, they can possess a great deal of intelligence. In fact, it is believed that adult cats and dogs have the understanding of a toddler human when it comes to many different things. Dogs are able to take verbal commands from their owners and cats are expert problem solvers. While we can’t know for certain their full extent of intelligence there is reason to believe that they may very well understand that some things are given to them as gifts.
One reason to believe that pets can understand gift giving is the fact that they do this act to show their loyalty and affection as well. Dogs and cats alike will bring back their prey as an offering to their humans. This is believed to be an act to show that they care for them. Some believe that it is simply an instinct for them, as they would do this for their young in the wild, but humans are not their children. In fact, humans provide a great deal of their care. It could also be that they are showing their respect for you as their leader. In any case, pets are very well known to be gift givers themselves, which would lead one to believe that they can understand the practice to some degree.
Dogs in particular are known to show their appreciation for the gifts that they receive. If they have a particular type of bone that they receive on a relatively regular basis they will know that it is for them the second that they see it. They may become extremely excited, even jumping around to show how much they look forward to receiving their gift. They also may show increased affection to their owner as a means of showing appreciation. This can be true as well when it comes to toys that they receive, especially if it is a replacement for something that they had destroyed beyond recognition. For dogs, the best kinds of gifts are often replacements for those that they have already shown that they greatly enjoy.
Cats can be far more subtle about whether or not they understand that they have been given a gift. Their main way of showing their appreciation is simply playing with it. Anyone that has a cat knows that gift giving can be very challenging with them. Every cat is different and enjoys different types of toys. Some cats have color preferences while others may be more inclined to like toys that make a noise or provide a certain sensation when they are bit or clawed. When a cat shows that they love the item that they have received that is a sign that they are definitely happy with their gift. Cat owners also report that their cats can be more affection than usual after they have played with a new toy. This could be them trying to show that they truly appreciate what you brought them.
Birds can be exceptionally clear about their understanding that they have received a gift. This is partly due to the fact that they are extremely intelligent. Another factor is they have the ability to vocalize their pleasure. When a bird is happy about a new treat or gift they will often sing or “talk” in an excited fashion. Over time bird owners find that a bird can be told that they are about to receive a new gift and become excited before they even see their surprise. This is hard proof that some animals definitely do have the ability to understand what gift giving is to some degree and show their appreciation for it.
Finding the right one at a gift shop for your pet can be just as challenging as giving the right gift to your friends and family. In fact, it can be even more challenging as pets can be very particular about the types of things that they enjoy. Every pet has personal preferences. You may have multiple dogs and one will love a particular type of bone or rawhide while the others turn their nose up at it. There is no one size fits all when it comes to any type of pet that is part of your fur family.
The key is to learn what preferences your pet seems to have. For example, it is not uncommon for pets to show a preference to certain colored toys. The more you are able to learn about the specific preferences of your pets, the more likely it is that the next gift you buy will be a big hit. It just takes some time of thinking about the things that they have shown an interest for in the past.