Green with Envy? Dealing with Jealousy in Dogs
Are you sensing that your fur baby’s dealing with a bout of jealousy? It’s not unusual for dogs to want extra attention when you’re giving another pup your love and adoration, but prolonged jealousy can become a stressful condition for dogs.
Photo by Alvan Nee
What Causes Dog Jealousy?
If your furry one is dealing with long-term jealousy, chances are that your living situation has shifted in some way. You may have adopted another pet, moved in with a significant other, or had a child. Whether it’s within the home or outside, jealousy can easily become a larger problem if it isn’t recognized early on.
Jealousy can occur when you appear to consistently prioritize another pet or human above your dog. But did you know that another animal doesn’t even have to be present for dogs to exhibit feelings of jealousy? Canines are able to smell the scent of other animals on your clothes, which can cause jealousy in especially sensitive doggos.
How to Deal with Jealousy in Dogs
The first step in helping a dog who is dealing with jealousy is to make sure they feel secure at home. If your pup is green with envy, check out these tips for helping them feel more comfortable with being around other pets and people.
- Basic necessities: All pooches in the house should have their own items to prevent any territorial behaviors. Each dog should have their own basics like food and water bowls, beds, and pee pads. If using a pet potty like Bark Potty, make sure there are at least two placed separately from one another, so that each pup can claim their own.
- Training: All training should happen separately if you happen to adopt multiple pups at the same time. For instance, potty training more than one dog at a time can create both confusion and territorialism if they have to “compete” whenever they go potty. They may feel like they have to share their dog bathroom or clamor for your praise and attention after taking care of business.
- Socializing with other dogs: Many dogs who are under socialized may be more prone to feelings of jealousy because they haven’t been sufficiently exposed to being in the company of other pooches. Socializing dogs helps them not only recognize that other dogs aren’t necessarily threats, but even friendly company they can look forward to.
- Socializing with other humans: As much as we treasure the special bonds we have with our fur babies, an especially strong bond with just one human can make dogs more jealous creatures. Encourage jealous dogs to develop relationships with other humans in the house so that your pooch has more than one place to get the love and attention they need.
Jealousy in canines won’t be resolved overnight. It’s the result of certain kinds of environments and bonding styles, and so it will take time for dogs to learn alternative ways of being with others. But with a little effort and care, fur babies everywhere can learn that your love isn’t limited and that you’ll be there for them every step of the way even if you can’t dote on them 24/7!