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5 Ways to Make Your Dog Love Your Partner

By: Tracy Hall

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5 Ways to Make Your Pet Love Your Partner

Would you break up with someone if they didn't get along with your pet? In a 2013 survey by Petplan, almost ¾ of women said they would call it quits with someone who clashed with their pet. When you consider how many animal lovers consider pets to be family, this isn't a big surprise. But if your pet and sweetheart don't get along, is all hope lost?
Animal behavior experts say no: there are ways to help your pet and partner become the best of friends. It just takes patience and lots of love. Check out these 5 tips for a happier home.

  • Look out for jealousy. When you're snuggling up with your beloved, are you ignoring your pet? You might not think so, but some animals are very sensitive to changes in their human's behavior. Make sure that you are not showing your pet less affection than normal and pay attention to them even when your partner is around. Better yet, why not team up and tend to your pet's needs together?

  • Make the experience a happy one. Every time that your pet and sweetheart meet can be an opportunity for a positive experience. Toys and treats are often a quick way to get on an animal's good side. Reward your pet every time they behave well around your partner, including sniffing, licking, or even just being calm in their presence.

  • Understand territorial behavior. Does your honey have pets of their own? Some cats or dogs become very defensive when they smell the scent of another animal in their territory. It doesn't matter if the smell is coming from a coat or an intruder-just a sniff is enough to unsettle an edgy animal. See if your pet reacts differently when your partner has minimized the scent of another animal by wearing very clean or new clothing near them. (Don't forget the shoes!)

  • Respect boundaries. Let's face it: your dog or cat was probably here first. It's understandable if they resist a new person "taking over" or trying to touch or interact with them without gauging their comfort level. Don't rush the relationship between animal and human by getting too close too fast. Let your pet decide how comfortable they are with your partner and don't push those boundaries too hard.

  • Make your sweetheart's presence a comforting one. Animals view strangers and scary situations as a threat, so make sure that your partner's presence is a welcoming and calming one. Speak in soft tones around your pet and surround them with comforting things. Some great additions to the home can be things like orthopedic beds, pet-safe heating pads, or pheromone diffusers designed to soothe anxious animals. Help your pet connect your other's presence with a calming and safe atmosphere.

    With these tips and lots of patience, the animal and human you love will be on the path to a better relationship in no time. Don't forget that sudden changes in a pet's behavior can signal a developing health problem. If your cat or dog suddenly begins acting aggressive or fearful towards your partner have them examined for illness or disease.

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