Some of Panskipp's work is controversial, but the idea that animals experience emotions seems to be moving into the mainstream. However, there is a difference between feeling an emotion and being able to think about or analyze that emotion. A puppy might be afraid of its overly rambunctious littermates, but it probably does not have the level of reasoning necessary to blame its adult skittishness on that experience. Even scientists like Panskipp, who promote the idea that animals have feelings, doubt that they have the intellectual capacity to think about their feelings.
Pet psychics and scientists also differ in their thoughts on animal consciousness, or potential for higher reasoning and self-awareness. Pet psychics also describe animals as having identities that are distinct from the animals around them. In other words, they are self-aware. As with human consciousness, animal consciousness is not entirely understood. Scientists do not entirely agree on whether animals are conscious or to what level they are self-aware. Some animals show signs of consciousness, such as recognizing themselves in the mirror or reacting to the death of other animals. But, scientists have not yet found proof that animals are as completely self-aware as pet psychics describe them to be.