The other day Gibson, the dog, was sleeping soundly on the sofa (yes, he’s allowed pretty much wherever he wants to be). When it came time for my Zoom meeting I put on my ear buds so I would leave him as undisturbed as possible.
During the call I spoke a bit quieter than usual so I mentioned why and simply went on with the meeting. By the end of the meeting our conversation shifted to respecting animals and in what ways we respect or disrespect them. My friend pointed out a great example of respecting our animal companions…the fact that I put ear buds in so Gibson could continue sleeping!
I grinned and at the same time it made me stop to think. Truthfully, doing things like that comes pretty naturally for me. I do my best to take others into consideration. I don’t always hit the mark, but I think I do pretty well with it and I’m always up for looking more deeply so I can learn something. I’m going to guess you like to discover and learn too!
So here’s a question: Are there things you do that could be considered disrespectful to your furry loved ones? Probably, and oftentimes it occurs without realizing it.
Let’s take a look at a few things that may show a lack of respect for our pets.
Overpowering or teasing them – Someone may think they are playing with their pet, but the pet feels dominated either due to the person physically hovering over them (trapped feeling) or continuing to do something they know animal doesn’t like.
Dressing them up – Some pets feel proud when they are dressed up, but many feel uncomfortable and embarrassed.
Overstimulation while petting – Animals are very sensitive and inadvertently stroking them for extended periods of time (often because it feels good to us) usually make them irritable or even cause some pain.
Assuming their behavior is misbehavior – From your pet’s perspective what they do makes perfect sense to them and they may be confused by the reprimand or reaction.
What would you add to your list of things you inadvertently do to disregard your pet? Remember to be light with your questioning and allowing the answers to come forth. This is to learn rather than to beat up on oneself.
Also, I think it’s always good to balance the exploration with the flip side too! Here are a few ideas that show respect and take our fur family into consideration.
See things/situations from their viewpoint – We see the world differently from our animals. How do they view bringing you a dead bird? Could it be meant as a gift? Take time to see it through their eyes (perspective).
Ask their opinion on things that affect them – “The vet says you may benefit by ____________ which means ___________________. Is that something you want to do?” Pets usually like to be included in decisions.
Clear and open communication – Ensuring you clearly communicate what you would like and then having a conversation that creates a win-win for both of you. If there has been a misunderstanding, clear up the cause behind it and reestablish mutual understanding.
Be generous expressing your affection – Frequently acknowledge your love and appreciation for your pet !
Again, these are just a few possibilities. What other things do you do that are respectful and takes your best furry friend into consideration?
Looking at both our faux pas and home runs opens the door for a deeper, richer relationship with our furry companions! Ultimately, that’s what we all want!