This is a wonderful practice! Animals are also God's creatures and we have to live in harmony with them as in the Paradise, the Arch of or the Crib of Bethlehem. Instead of being cruel with them (as it is sadly often the case) we must be respectful and care of their necessities and obtain blessings for them. The Rituale Romanum has also a blessing for animals that are ill, praying God to deliver them from pain and suffering and to restore them in good health. Thank you for this beautiful post.