Kindness to animals, kindness from animals

At Banfield, we think it goes without saying that people should always be kind to animals. It’s the right thing to do – and a wonderful way to express love and caring in your life. Your pup’s adoring eyes and your contentedly purring cat are showing you exactly how much they appreciate your affection.

Dogs have many ways to show they care. Licking and jumping are definitely signs your dog is happy to see you. (If you’re not crazy about either, don’t worry – it’s perfectly fine to teach your dog you’d prefer other behavior.) When your dog brings you their toys, leans against you, or lies down nearby and sighs with content, that’s their way of sharing a bonding moment.

As for cats, scientists have shown that they absolutely know their owners and their own names. So whether your cat is a big “cuddler” who snuggles on every possible lap, or standoffish and proud with everyone, you can be sure you’re important in their lives.

And it’s not just domestic animals. Wild animals have the ability to show compassion and kindness too. Here are just a few examples.


Elephants have amazing memories and demonstrate incredible care for herd members who are hurt or injured. If an important friend dies, elephants keep vigil for days and then return to their grave year after year. There are even stories of wild elephants who have helped to protect humans from hyenas or other common foes. Plus, experiments show that elephants like to work together, even politely waiting for their friends before performing tasks that earn rewards.

Bonobo Apes

It’s not surprising that apes, our close evolutionary relative, have been observed happily grooming, playing with, and hugging each other. Bonobo apes take this even further with extra displays of kindness. They’ve been known to unselfishly share fruit and other treats – even if they get nothing back themselves – with other bonobos they’ve never met. 

Humpback Whales

Humpback whales use their size to help other species being hunted by killer whales – gray whales and calves, seals, even sunfishes. They’ll pair up and leap into action together to stop a killer whale attack. Scientists theorize that young humpbacks may be acting based on memories of being attacked themselves, although they don’t officially use the term “empathy.”

Want a quick and easy way to demonstrate kindness to the people and animals in your own life? There’s one act that just about every warm-blooded animal – whether they live on mountaintops, under the water, or in your own home – can appreciate. Cuddling!

Sometimes the kindest thing is the simplest. If you’ve ever seen dogs curl up side by side, or cats grooming each other, you know how important warmth and affection can be.

So settle down with your furry bestie and share the love. We’re sure you’ll both appreciate it.