Your Pet’s Pet Peeves: Behaviors That Can Annoy Pets
As much as we love our pets, there are times when they get on our nerves. Even the world’s most patient pet parents can feel frustrated by behaviors like excessive vocalization, persistent begging, or scratching and chewing on furniture. These irksome habits can sour the relationship between pet and pet parent, often causing owners to lose their cool and inadvertently inspire more unwanted behavior.
Sometimes, irritating behaviors are a dog or cat’s way of letting owners know that they’re annoyed with us. Read on to learn if you could be driving your cat crazy or getting under your dog’s fur.
5 Habits That Annoy Dogs
- Hugging: Dogs often perceive the placement of hands around their head and neck as threatening, making hugs more annoying (even frightening) than comforting. Make sure to let your dog show and accept affection on their own terms rather than taking them by surprise with embraces.
- Staring: Have you ever watched the way your dog’s eyes lock onto a squirrel in the yard. That intensity should give you a sense of how stares are interpreted within the canine community. Staring in your dog’s direction could raise their suspicion and result in both annoyance and anger.
- Shouting: Raising your voice isn’t a good way to get your dog’s attention or discourage unwanted behavior. Yell or shout in your dog’s direction and you’re far more likely to scare, confuse, and even annoy them. Need to let your dog know that you mean business? Use a low, deliberate voice rather than a loud one.
- Interrupting Their Naps: You wouldn’t like it if someone woke you from a deep sleep for no reason and neither will your dog. When pups are napping, let them wake up naturally to avoid unnecessarily startling or annoying them.
- Changing Their Routine: Dogs are creatures of habit and it can irk them when owners suddenly update their usual routines. As best as possible, try to keep meal and walk times consistent to avoid upsetting your dog. An unpredictable schedule won’t just annoy and confuse a pup, but could lead them to develop behavioral problems.
5 Habits That Annoy Cats
- Inattentiveness: While they often seem aloof and can be remarkably self sufficient, cats still crave attention and affection. Getting into the habit of leaving cats by their lonesome can make them anxious and negatively impact your bond. If your busy schedule makes quality time a luxury, make sure you’re doing all you can to keep your kitty engaged in your absence.
- Leaving Litter Boxes Dirty: Being an attentive, responsible cat owner also means taking care to clean out their litter box regularly and effectively. Leaving cats with dirty litter boxes will earn their ire and could prove hazardous to your health and theirs. Remember, cats don’t like being interrupted while they’re using the litter box either.
- Aggressive and/or Unwanted Petting: Even especially affectionate cats get annoyed when pets, prods, and pats don’t come on their own terms. Don’t interrupt a cat who’s eating, sleeping, or grooming to show them love and make sure to observe their body language whenever you’re enjoying quality time together.
- Picking Them Up: You may want to hold your kitten in your arms, but let them come to you before hoisting them into an embrace. Unwanted hugs and carrying may cause stress for cats and leave owners contending with scratches from an upset pet.
- Making Loud Noises: Whether they’re from owners or environmental factors, loud noises can send cats up the walls and cause serious anxiety. Regular exposure can lead cats to develop a nervous disposition and lash out with inappropriate, destructive behaviors. To whatever degree possible, try to protect your feline friend from excessive noise by providing them with a quiet, peaceful personal environment.
Bonding With Your Pet
Building a strong, respectful relationship with your pet is an ongoing process. It starts once you’ve brought your dog or cat home and continues throughout the entirety of your time together. Failure to bond can result in testy relationships and houses characterized by destructive pets and overwhelmed pet parents.
Check out our guides to bonding with pets for tips on avoiding conflict, setting clear ground rules, and establishing relationships that will make both your lives richer: