Theyare part of the Family, like Children, sometimes they even eat better than we do! The lengths we go to to make sure they are happy and taken care of. ie: buying toys for them, and all they really want is to play in the bag the toys came in!
Also, it is my strong belief that animals have Spirits, as Humans do, and when WE pass on, we will be reunited with THEM. All of our pets of days past as well as those from other family members. Finally, pets can also represent FAMILIARS.