To Err is Human…But Is Your Pet a Good Judge of Character?

AllPets_iStock_000032185210_MediumWe don’t always rely on our pets to judge others, but if your pet reacts strongly to a new person in your life, is it possible he or she is keyed into something to which you’re oblivious?

Like a barometer measures atmospheric pressure, your pet could potentially assess compatibility, determine your level of risk, and even weigh his or her own place in a potential love triangle. Is your pet a good judge of character? Let’s find out…

Change? Not for Me!

It’s important to understand that your pet thrives on routine, and embracing change is usually difficult. When introducing your pet to someone new, make sure you do it slowly and respectfully, lest possessive or jealous behaviors turn into aggression.

Whatever the case, please consider your pet’s needs before thrusting a big change on him or her. Have patience and allow for lots of time before your pet cuddles up to your new honey.

Sensible Scents

Animals have an especially strong sense of smell, and this can inform them about a new human’s emotional state (i.e., frightened, happy, anxious, agitated, etc.). Additionally, your pet is likely tuned in to your significant other’s body language and reacts in kind. Your pet’s evaluation and judgement will stem from how he or she understands the scents and physical cues of your significant other.

Your Pet’s Personality

Your pet could be as sweet and relaxed as can be – until you bring home your significant other. Your pet’s good nature goes right out the dog or cat door, with previously unseen behavior taking center stage. Reactions to your human sweetheart can vary, but your pet’s instincts may be fear-based or borne out of highly protective feelings for you.

You may notice some of these unwanted – or unexpected – behaviors from your pet following an introduction to someone special:

  • Fusses or whines repeatedly
  • Growls
  • Hides from you
  • Shares an over-excited display
  • Begins soiling near you or your partner

If you’re the proud owner of a guard dog, let him or her know that your significant other poses no threat. He or she is a natural protector, so offer reassurances that you’re ok, and try to integrate your significant other into the established rhythms of your home (read: your pet comes first!).

Good Manners

One of the best things you can do for your pet is to provide proper training and socialization. This ensures your pet remains under your control, even when exposed to someone he or she doesn’t like. For instance, if your dog is prone to barking at your significant other, re-directing him or her using effective training methods can be a source of relief when it’s date night at home.

The following tips allow you to provide additional support for your pet:

  • Give your pet as many opportunities as possible to meet (and smell) new people and other pets.
  • Maintain excellent physical exercise to help burn off extra energy and to keep your pet’s mind healthy.
  • Keep up with your pet’s routine so he or she feels secure.

Is Your Pet a Good Judge of Character?

This Valentine’s Day, you may have two sweethearts. Remember to treat each one fairly, and don’t forget to share your snuggle and play time equally.

We heart your pet, so please contact us with any questions or concerns!

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