Our animal friends are part of our families. And as such, they should be used to how we conduct our lives and everything we do in our homes right? Wrong! Here are six of many ways that human behaviour annoys companion animals. Do you do any of these?
1) Yelling- Animals are incredibly noise sensitive. Animals often cower and become extremely uncomfortable to the sound and energy of yelling. Animals are highly sensitive to energy. Often, yelling is accompanied by angry or other negative energies. This alone can make any animal feel irritated and unwelcome. Because of their audio sensory survival mechanism, the shape of their ear flaps and a heightened sense of full spectrum hearing, cats and dogs hear sounds at a magnified volume. Ask any animal, and they will tell you that silence is golden!
2) Letting children climb on and pull ears/tail or teasing in any way- Parents often think that animals don’t mind and don’t take offense to small children dressing up animals, climbing on them and tugging their extremities (ears and tail). And what’s perhaps the most offensive about all of this is when the animal finally works up the courage to stand up for himself by lashing out, his people get scared and kick him out. ALWAYS put yourself in your animal’s position. Would you want children pulling your ears and tail, dragging you around and climbing all over you? As the companions of companion animals, it is our responsibility to understand our animals’ perspective and role in the home. Animals are not toys, dolls or novelties. They are gentle beings who should always be respected through a good understanding of boundaries from all household members.
3) Barking or meowing at a dog or cat- Humans think they can get dogs and cats to communicate with them by barking and/or meowing at them. Dogs and cats think that this is ridiculous behaviour.
4) Aggressive cuddles/greetings- Animals are very gentle beings by nature. It is important to recognize that they do not consider roughhousing to be endearing. Some dogs definitely like to play that way at the right time and place, however introverted dogs and almost ALL cats are not appreciative of aggressive petting or cuddling. They find it quite offensive and do not understand it. This is one main reason why they may hiss, scratch of bite. It is important to be mindful that cats are gentle beings and should be treated in a gentle way.
5) Staring- Just like humans, if you stare at an animal, it makes them very uncomfortable. If most could hear them, the animal would as “what are you staring at??” Animals ESPECIALLY get annoyed when you stare at them while they are doing their bathroom business. Keep in mind how you might feel if someone was staring at you while you were on the toilet!
6) Ignoring attempts to communicate- animals are fully conscious, sentient beings. They are always communicating with us through body language, behaviour and telepathy. If they feel like we are unable to understand their gentle cues, they may get frustrated and act out in a way that will definitely get out attention! Be mindful that our animal friends have endless messages to share. The more receptive and compassionate we become to this end, the better the communication will flow and the lesser our animals will be annoyed!
7) Taking their pictures or video- Animals do not understand the concept of photography. They may understand that you are shoving your cellular phone in their face or personal space, however they do not understand why. In many cases, animals become annoyed and frightened by cell phone cameras. Some animals may not mind having their pictures taken but most do. They will often be uncomfortable with having you record their adorable behavior. It is important to stop and consider if your animal friend would appreciate having a phone shoved in their face during certain moments. That said, who can resist a photo shoot with the most adorable faces on the planet?
All of this can be avoided through the understanding and practice of empathy! By really understanding your animal’s comfort level instead of assuming that they are or are not a certain way, you will be promoting a healthy home for your whole family… most importantly, your animal companions will love you that much more!