A recent survey of more than 4300 pet owners reveals that women love their pets more than their significant others. The survey found that more than 66 percent of female pet owners said they would rather receive Valentine’s kisses from their four-legged friends than their two-legged sweethearts.
The survey also revealed that 67 percent of female pet parents would end a relationship with a significant other if their partner clashed with their pet.
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, Kristen Collins, ASPCA director of Anti-Cruelty Behavior Rehabilitation, shares seven tips on strengthening the bonds between your partner and your pet:
- Have your significant other feed as many meals as possible to your pet. Pets learn to love the person who makes them breakfast and dinner. Be sure not to overfeed them. If your partner doesn’t live with you, you can have him give your pet smaller meals.
- Identify your pet’s favorite toys, and save them for when your significant other comes over to play with your pet.
- If your pet is not afraid of your partner, show your partner how your pet loves to be touched. Sometimes a person may pet a cat or dog in the wrong place. That’s not satisfying for the pet or for the person.
- Go shopping for your pet with your partner. I have three dogs, and when my significant other went shopping with me for pet toys, he was invested in finding the right toys for them. They really appreciated getting new toys, and now he buys them toys all the time. It’s quite lovely.
- Go on an outing together. If your pet is a dog, the three of you can take a walk together. Let your partner decide on where to go. It could be on a hike or sitting outside in a coffee shop enjoying a cup of coffee and the time together. If you have a cat, you can stay at home together. The important thing is to spend time together.
- If your significant other is interested in agility training, have him enroll your dog in a class. For cat parents, try clicker training your cat at home. Cats will love the attention, and they are trainable.
- Know when to back off. It’s always best to let the pet come to you—especially if the pet is a little afraid or shy. Don’t force interaction between your partner and pet. That can be damaging to the relationship. Let your pet set the pace.
Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!
Michele C. Hollow writes about pets and wildlife for numerous publications. She is the author of The Everything Guide to Working with Animals, and writes the popular pet blog Pet News and Views.