One day you bring home another furry bundle of joy. The problem is, the dog currently in residence - the one you adore, who always came to you for pats and snuggles - suddenly decides he wants nothing to do with either you or the new family member. Jealousy between pets often occurs because they fear that a valued resource -- you, and attention from you -- is being taken away from them.
I remember when we brought home our first dog. He was a great puppy and we bonded well and did everything together. Thinking he would like a playmate, we then brought home a second dog. That's when everything changed. Suddenly, dog #1, our best buddy, decided that he wouldn't listen to us... and when we tried to pet him, he'd slink underneath our hands and avoid us. I was traumatized! Fortunately, it only lasted a couple of (interminably long) weeks.
Dogs often guard the stuff that's important to them. One example is a food bowl; many dogs will resource guard their bowl from other pets. Another example of important 'stuff' is you!
Jealousy in pets can look like anything they do to take your attention away from the other pet and back to himself. Maybe it's something that feels benign, like worming their way into your lap or underneath your arm. Jealousy can also take a more aggressive tone; for example, one dog could make ugly-faces at the other, or even snap at them.
It might be tempting to let the behavior go if it looks 'cute' or funny, but it's best to address jealousy quickly. Pets don't have to be best friends but they do need to be able to live together peacefully and without hurting one another. Jealousy can be stressful to both humans and the pets.
Here are a few ways to make the introduction of a new pet easier:
Jealousy between pets isn't uncommon. Address and manage it consistently so that your pets can live together in harmony. With time, they may even become buddies!
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