You have a pet and are married or getting there or moving in together or just spend a lot of time with each other at home. Your pet appears to be upset by the situation. What to do?
The first thing to examine is your partner’s relationship with animals. Did s/he grow up with pets? Does your partner exhibit fear or anxiety around your pets?
Our pets excel at “reading” us. We may not be aware of the feelings we are projecting, but animals cannot be fooled.
Our pets can also be very possessive of us. They can be jealous if we show affection to another being. One way to eliminate or never have the problem is to train and socialize your pet beginning early in his life.
Cats in particular have a difficult time with change, but they eventually will be tolerant and even bond with your partner. Cats under stress will often urinate on an article of your partner’s clothing. It’s a good idea to ask your partner not to leave any clothing lying about. Ask your partner to try to interact with your cat – perhaps offering a favorite treat and/or playing with the cat using toys.
Pet birds can be a challenge. Birds will peck at a person and let their stress out in loud tones. Sometimes birds will take a dislike to a certain person and can become quite aggressive. While a parakeet’s bite may not do much damage, a cockatoo’s bite can mean a hospital visit for the person. You can begin accustoming your bird to your partner’s presence slowly, perhaps caging him. Have your partner talk to your bird and feed him treats the bird especially likes. Introducing another bird carefully sometimes help to focus attention elsewhere. If an appreciable amount of time passes with no improvement, you may want to enlist the help of an avian behaviorist.
Dogs will bark a lot, may growl and nip or bite. Have your partner use treats to encourage your dog’s positive behavior. Your partner can also be the one to give the dog his meals at regularly scheduled feeding times. Enlist your partner to take brisk walks with the dog. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and can result in bonding.
Exchange pieces of clothing with your partner. Wearing something belonging to your partner will get your pet used to the different scent.
Food is a great motivator with any pet. Use it as an offer of friendship, but please include the calorie count in your pets diet regimen. We don’t want to add to the problem of pet obesity.
Pets are individuals and learn at different rates. Go slowly, it can take time and certainly will take patience to train a pet.
If you continue to have difficulties, you can consult with your veterinarian, trainer or animal behaviorist.
Please remember, a pet that is well-trained and socialized usually responds with love to anyone who is kind.