Saturday, December 10, 2011

How to Fix Jealousy Between Pets

Consistent structure can help stave off pet jealousy.

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Some pets experience a wider range of emotion than many people realize. This includes jealousy, which can manifest itself in aggressive and unpredictable behavior. Jealousy in pets usually occurs when a new pet is introduced into the home. The key to staving off pet jealousy and the associated negative behavioral involves a clear routine and structure that promotes stability and calmness.

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Pets thrive on routine. Depending on a structure that remains consistent day in and day out provides the security most pets need to behave and stay mentally balanced. Jealousy usually indicates some type of disruption in the routine. For example, the introduction of a new pet can take an owner's attention away from the incumbent pet. This, in turn, causes the owner to neglect the old routine, such as daily walks and scheduled feeding times. Maintaining the old routine demonstrates to the jealous pet that not much changes. Jealous pets are more likely to move back into a stable frame of mind when after an owner re-establishes structure.


All pets need some type of exercise to keep physically fit. Exercise also provides bonding time between the pet and the owner along with important mental stimulation. An obvious but underestimated part of exercise includes physical exertion. A well exercised and tired pet does not have the physical or mental energy for aggression -- or at least not long bouts of aggression. This means you should exercise a jealous pet more often than usual. The additional energy expended makes it easier for an owner to give direction when a pet acts out of jealousy. Furthermore, your pet just won't have the energy to exhibit some of the negative traits associated with jealousy.

Separation and Reprimands

Regardless of how well you train your pet and make an effort to stave off jealousy, your pet still has a mind of its own and might suffer from some regression. Don't lose faith when this occurs. Separate the jealous pet from the other pets and reprimand them with a stern voice. These two actions alone indicate to your pet that jealous behavior will not be tolerated. Staying persistent in this approach eventually teaches your pets to not engage in certain behaviors. Positive reinforcement provides a stronger incentive to act accordingly than reprimands serve as a deterrent. As such, give your pets extra affection when they exhibit the types of non-jealous behaviors you want.

Maintain Pack Order

Some pets, such as dogs, have a natural pack order that includes a dominant leader and submissive followers. Failing to recognize this natural order causes confusion within the pack and forces the dominant leader to re-establish dominance through aggressive behavior. This situation requires owners to give dominant pets special privileges in recognition of their leader role. This includes earlier feeding times and the first pet to receive affection. Recognition of the pack order creates stability in the pack and keeps owner-induced jealousy at bay.

ReferencesPet Side: Taming Pet JealousyOdor Destroyer: How to Handle a Jealous DogResourcesDaily Mail: Why Dogs Get Jealous Too - Scientists Reveal our Pets Complex Range of EmotionsPhoto Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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