Family Approval: Meeting the Pets

I love my ball...When you’re a pet owner, getting your pet’s approval can be on your top priority list. Your dog or cat’s opinion may be as important as your best friend’s opinion and that is okay. However, when you’re in a relationship or just starting one, your pet’s judgment can pose some obstacles and issues that you didn’t think would occur. You can easily be caught in the middle when trying to be a mediator between the loves of your life, but there are ways to find a balance.

In an article titled “How to Keep Pets from Spoiling a New Relationship,” Linda Lombardi of the Associated Press says meeting the pets is a crucial moment. Dogs and cats have excellent judgments of character, so if they have a strong negative reaction to your date, avoid jumping to conclusions but keep this moment in mind. Pets can be territorial so sometimes they can react strongly to someone who is holding or kissing you, especially if they have never been exposed to this before. Try to make the first encounter positive by letting your significant other give your pet a treat or meet up at the park for a relaxing walk to give your pet time to get used to the new person in your life.

Lombardi also says that the issues your significant other has with your pets can actually represent underlying problems with the relationship. For example, if your new love has commitment issues, he/she might use your pets as an excuse. Whatever the underlying issue is, it’s important to discuss the overall situation and try to get to the root of the problem so you can make a compromise and not a sacrifice you’ll regret in the future.

Pets can also become ritualistic in their behavior and develop an obsession with aggression toward your sweetheart, especially if you’re unable to stop the behavior early on. Your pet might growl or hiss and even inappropriately urinate in your home. These situations are more severe and may require mood enhancing medication or a behavior specialist. First, try a natural and safe remedy like flower essences and behavior modification before resorting to drugs that can compromise your pet’s liver.

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