Pets and “Boo’s” … Can they get along?

Since opening the store I haven’t had a lot of time for my social life. It usually consists of a nice quiet walk with Taylor (my furry true love). But recently I met someone and decided to accept the dinner “date” invitation. Butterflies fluttered in my stomach as we ventured out. I knew he was a dog lover as he has one of his own so I wasn’t concerned about him liking Taylor or how he would treat him. Didn’t even give it a thought. And, Taylor seemed to warm up to him, of course, that was when we were outside.   Coming inside, Taylor’s territory was a completely different story. I actually saw for the first time that Taylor was a bit jealous. First, Taylor took his favorite stuffed toy and completely ripped it to shreds, and then showed it to my new “friend”. After making sure that it was clearly understood that he was a “tough dog”, Taylor crawled in my lap just like a lap dog and stayed there.

For many females introducing your new significant other to your furry love can be overwhelmingly stressful. . And if your pet hates this latest guy, well … the pet was with you before he was, so bye-bye to another promising romance. However, handling a situation like this is simple.

If your goal is more than just a date or two then start by making things easy on yourself by picking a pet lover, maybe even a pet owner. (Of course, if things really do work out, the next crucial step is introducing pets to each other. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.) Patience is the first step. Getting a pet accustomed to a new person takes time, and you shouldn’t try to force a friendship.

Although you may interpret your pet’s actions as signs of jealousy, they are probably more related to disruption in their routine. So maintaining their daily routine as much as possible is very important. This means keeping to your schedule of feedings, playtime, walks, etc. You and your new boo can share in these happy chores as well; your pet may see the guy as an extension of yourself.

The first meeting may go better on neutral territory so that your dog will not feel the need to exert his dominance by being on his home turf. Meet on a walking trail, at a dog park or anywhere that you feel that your pet will feel at ease. Don’t underestimate the power of bribery, either. Favorite treats are an excellent way to win the heart of your canine. And your dog will associate your guy with the good things in life.

Allow your dog to approach the friend on his own, so he can grow comfortable. Your guy should be calm and relaxed – dogs are experts at reading body language and any tenseness will tell your dog there’s something to fear.

Once the initial meeting has occurred and you feel comfortable, then let your boyfriend visit you at your home. Allow him to feed your dog his meal and the three of you should spend time together on walks or other forms of playtime activities that do not involve rough play or games of chase. Keeping things simple will prevent any chances of the situation getting out of hand. If the two of them become comfortable with each other, he may strengthen the bond by taking the dog for a walk without you going with them. Again, the goal is to get your dog to associate the boyfriend with pleasurable activities.

One concern some dog owners have is whether their dog will show aggression toward the significant other if any form of affection is displayed. Some aggressive dogs may react to “protect the pack member” or even their own perceived place in it. If your dog is aggressive, it is very important to have him thoroughly trained and in control. Consulting an expert in the field of canine behavior and canine training is highly recommended in the event that any form of aggressive behavior is displayed directly toward the significant other.

Again, keeping to your pet’s routine is important. They shouldn’t associate your new boyfriend with being ignored or neglected.

If you have any questions regarding your pet please email us at

Written by Vanessa Davis, Founder/Owner of Dirty Dogs Spa. 929 Heritage Lake Road, Wake Forest NC. Website: Phone 919-453-0765