1) As a test, notice how emotion precedes thought. When you feel good, good thoughts bubble up. When you feel crappy, crappy thoughts bubble up.
(2) So are we are lumping "thoughts" and "feelings" into the same language based phenomenon? Thus, if a living thing has no language it doesn't feel? I know you don't mean that, or is suffering not a feeling?
1) Yes, but what about when you forget about feeling bad and start thinking about something else and suddenly start feeling good? Sometimes thought precedes emotion. In fact, other than physical suffering, which can be pretty compelling, I think all emotion is preceded by thought.
2) "Thought" I used to refer to language based talk that goes on in our head; not instinctual brain activity that requires no language. Speech is just spoken thought; though some of it is animal-like, instinctual reaction. I think that most of the emotion we assign to animals is an attempt to humanize them and is misdirected. However, I also consider that maybe they have a rudimentary language that allows them to have some thought and emotion. Their reactions might not all be instinctual. I don't really know for sure.
Dogs don't suffer as much as humans because they can't keep the story of their suffering alive without language. Most of human suffering is in the story about it after the actual events. Of course, if it turns out that dogs have as much or more thought than humans but just don't have speech, then my whole theory goes out the window.