Many of us would like to think that our pets and animals have a conscious, but does anyone truly know if they do? Besides, a lot of the behaviors that animals and our pets show are similar to a lot of the behaviors that humans show too. For example, animals communicate with each other often by making different pitched vocalizations. Animals also sense pain and we see that when animals get hurt, they nurse their injuries and try to take care of them. Finally, we see animals sense different feelings of happiness, sadness, hunger, remember certain things, etc. These behaviors are most observable in our pets and how they get happy or excited when they see us or want to go for a walk, sad when we scold them for doing something wrong, or being scared of bigger animals or doing things that they haven't done before. Although animals show a lot of the same basic behaviors as humans, it does not mean that they have the same level of consciousness as us.
As it turns out, scientists believe that animals do have a conscious, but the complexity of their consciousness has a wide range. When we look at the animal kingdom, we see that the animals at the bottom have the simplest type of conscious, if any conscious at all. As we move up higher and higher on the list, we see animal's consciousness to become more and more complex. "Mammals and birds are considered to have a primary consciousness because they can process simultaneous stimuli and they have an internal representation of their experiences," says Svene. This would be an example of a snake chasing after its prey. The snake does not have a central image of its prey, it just sees food. Also, if the mouse disappears behind a bush, the snake does not have the consciousness to comprehend that the mouse will reappear. This is not the case though, with mammals and birds. Animals who are warm blooded generally have a higher level of consciousness than cold-blooded animals, such as reptiles. When we from our pets, that they clearly know what type of food they are eating which is why they don't get their normal food mixed up with treats or food that we eat. We also can see that our pets know where we possibly might be even if we are in a different room or not in their line of sight. To me, it seems like animals do in fact have a conscious, even though it may not be nearly as complex as ours. Its nice to know that all the attention and care we give to our pets actually means something to them and that are genuinely happy to be with us.