Basic Pet Care
What to do if Your Pet Doesn't Like Your Partner
Like many pet owners, friends and family often come to visit us in our homes and comment on how cute our pets are. Of course, just when you think your cat or dog is well behaved, and your visitor reaches out to pet them, WHAM your dog growls or your cat hisses and swats at your guest. You might even make light of your pet's behavior and make up an excuse.
What happens when that person is your partner and you two are moving in together, and your cat or dog is just not fond of this new person? Most people consider their pet a family member and don't want to choose between their pet and significant other. How can you make it work? First, you may want to consult your veterinarian about your pet's behavior to rule out a medical condition before making any significant changes to your pet's lifestyle.
Dogs and cats like routine. Anything that throws them off their daily schedule can put them under stress and cause them to act out, including a new person living in their environment. This can be a hectic time for people as well. Pets are perceptive and can feed off your emotions, meaning human stress can easily equal pet stress.
Here are a few tips for your partner and pet to become more comfortable with each other, and maybe even like each other one day! Making your partner a part of your pet's routine can help with the positive interaction between pet and person.
Feeding schedule: Feeding your pet is a positive experience often filled with purring, barking and tail wagging. Have your partner take over feeding duties and your pet may associate yummy meal time with your partner.
Play schedule: Have your partner dedicate one-on-one play time with your pup or kitty. Exercise is not only important in your pet's life, but in our lives as well!
Affection: Have your partner give special one-on-one attention to your pet! If your dog loves belly rubs, let your partner do it. If your cat loves being scratched under the chin, have your partner do that!
Shopping: If your pet is well behaved in public, have your partner take your pet to the pet store to pick out a new treat or toy. If Kitty is not fond of car trips or Fido clears the shelves with his tail, have your partner present the new treat or toy to your pet with great excitement. They will come to associate good things with your partner.
Remember - introducing a new and permanent person to your pets can be challenging. It takes time to adjust, but working on developing a good relationship and having a positive outlook will help the transition go smoothly!
Written by Jordan Taylor - A proud owner of two cats (Ralph and Ginger) who has worked in the animal health care field since 2011.