One dictionary source identifies "species" as: a class of individuals having some common characteristics or qualities; distinct sort or kind.
To me, that means my dog is the same species I am. My cat is the same species I am. We're very commonly alike. We have two eyes, a mouth, two ears, and a tail. Okay, I don't have a tail. But, I can be as big a wiggle butt as any out there - including you, Dexter! So, I don't discount the tail thing.
We also love long walks.
We eat much the same kind of food. In fact,we are all extremely fond of chicken. Must be cage-free chicken, though.
And, we love the same. We know people who make us drool... (can you say matthew mcconaughey?)... and people we want to bite until the blood runs like .... I'm sorry, (shakes off image) people we just don't like.
In the end, I feel very connected to my pets. My pets, of course, are warm blooded animals, as am I, so it's easy to feel as if we're a common species. I mean no disrespect when I say I might not sing the same tune if my pets were... lizards or fish. Birds, maybe. That does not discount the love and affection people have for pets not of the warm-blooded animal kind. Not at all. It merely shows my preference.