Having a pet is rewarding, always exciting, and irresistibly fun. But the role of pet parent also comes with a ton of responsibility. You can spend plenty of time playing, hitting the pavement for walks, and curled up cuddling at home — but pets of any kind also require understanding, patience, and constant care.
And plenty of us love spoiling our pets in countless ways to show our love and affection. But here’s something you likely never thought about: are you showing your pet love in a way they actually understand?
Although we have our pets’ best interests at heart, we often do things to our pets that they absolutely hate. In fact, some of the most common behaviors pet owners use with their cats, dogs, or other animals are actually interpreted as aggression, anger, or an uncomfortable way of breaking personal space boundaries.
Are you guilty of doing any of these bad behaviors around your pets? Read on to find out.
Hugging Your Pets
There’s nothing better than scooping up your dog or cat and giving them a warm, snuggly hug. After all, humans love hugs and plenty of animals love to cuddle!
But dogs and cats absolutely hate being hugged. Some pets will tolerate hugs, but only from humans they trust the most. No matter how much it might seem your cat or dog enjoys your hugs, the truth is they really, really can’t stand this behavior.
Why do animals hate being hugged? Most feel threatened when they have others wrapped around their bodies. And many animals hate feeling like they’re trapped or being held down. It’s a sign of dominance over another animal — and that’s why dogs and cats will often bite or nip at humans who try to hug them.
Being Inconsistent With Rules
No pet owner enjoys disciplining their animals. Sure, they can have some moments or exhibit bad habits or behaviors, but it can be tough to discipline, or even say no to, your favorite furry friend. That’s often why pet owners struggle to set consistent, firm rules with their pets. So your cat climbed up on the dinner table once or twice — that’s probably okay, right? And maybe your dog has a bad habit of barking for no reason, but you don’t have to always correct that behavior, right?
Well, being inconsistent with your rules can actually confuse your pets. If you waffle between reprimanding your pets for bad behavior and letting things slide, or if different members of the family don’t always enforce the rules for pets, it can send your animals mixed messages. And that can cause your pets to become stressed out, which means they may be less able to follow any rules or commands.