If your dog looks a little green when your cats enter the room, she may be suffering from a touch of jealousy. This emotion isn’t reserved for humans, and jealous dogs may feel neglected. Praise and reinforcement are key to taming that green-eyed monster.
Create a stable routine for your pets. Jealousy often flares up when there’s been a change made to your dog’s daily schedule, and sticking to a solid pattern of events will stave off jealousy. Feed your dog in the same bowl at the same time every day, take him for walks at the same time, and engage in frequent play sessions to give the dog a sense of stability.
Feed your dog and cats in separate rooms. Jealousy is often linked to food-guarding behavior, and your dog may turn green with envy if the cat steals a nibble from his bowl. Set the dog’s bowl in a quiet room, and close the door while he enjoys his meals.
Spend plenty of time with your dog. If you just got a new cat or you’ve been spending more time playing with your furry felines, your dog may feel left out. Take a few minutes to toss your dog’s favorite ball, spend a little time petting and cuddling with him, or take him on a special trip to the dog park for some quality bonding time.
Allow your dog and cats to spend time together. Introduce your pets slowly, and keep a close eye on them as they sniff and explore each other. Keep the interaction brief, and end on a good note with plenty of praise and treats. If either critter gets cranky, separate them and try again later.
Ignore your dog if he whines or barks while you’re petting the kitty. Continue to pet the cat and pretend the dog’s not even there. When your dog calms down and sits quietly, give him a few good scratches. Praising the dog when he is calm reinforces the thought that he has to mind his manners or he gets no attention at all.
- Don’t scold either animal for jealous behavior. They are already upset that the other pet is getting all the attention, and punishment will only make them more angry and confused.
Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.