Here at FetchaDate, we’re all about your WingPet tagging along for dates. In fact, we encourage you to take them with you on a date to a hiking trail or a dog park. But what happens when your WingPet doesn’t take the hint when they’re not invited?
If you’re a pet owner, you’ve probably been there with your pet. Their wet nose sniffing where it shouldn’t be or a furry spectator watching from the corner. Pets are curious and protective. While some may pay no mind, for others, dogs watching sex may pique their interest and concern.
In my book “Leashes and Lovers,” I share how pets want to understand you as desperately as you want to understand them. Why do you think they’re always standing at your feet, watching your every move? And, all they want to do is please you.
And your intimate moments aren’t an exception. The 2019-2020 APPA National Pet Owners Survey reports that 67% of U.S. households own a pet; that’s nearly 85 million homes. So if you feel like your pet is ruining the mood, chances are you’re not alone. In fact, in a recent survey, 25% percent of pet owners said they were creeped out by their pets staring at their owners having sex.
As one woman told Beast Mode, “My dog is sweet and generally listens well, but she is super attached to me. As a single lady who dates casually, we have one main problem: She hates it when I get some action!”
Understanding your pet
So why are pet owners having sex—or even hugging and kissing—such a big deal to your dog? And how do they understand or interpret what you’re doing?
As Canine Behavioral Consultant Eileen Koval explains, although your pet may smell the pheromones your body releases during intimate moments, there is no evidence to suggest they understand or care what is going on.
How your pet interprets and reacts to intimate moments varies from pet to pet, how they were raised, and their environment. Here are a few ways your pet can interpret these moments.
Intimacy causes anxiety
Pets love routine. But when it comes to dating, routine is not the secret sauce to romance. So, when your pet sees you acting out of the ordinary, it may provoke anxiety.
“Whenever I start to do my thing with a date, even if we’re just kissing on the couch, [my dog] whines loudly,” one woman told Beast Mode. “If we move to the bedroom, she’ll eventually quiet down but then proceeds to anxiously chew my comforter to bits.”
Intimacy perceived as a threat
To some pets, a simple hug may look more like an attack. And those odd noises happening under the sheets? Your pet may become concerned that something bad is happening to you. This can even occur in an established relationship if the pet is more bonded to one owner than the other.
Intimacy causing jealousy or more need for attention
Pets exhibit jealousy often. They push your hand away from another dog for a pet or sit on top of your laptop for more “them” time. So you giving another person attention compared to them is no exception.
It just looks like a fun time
Well, they’re not wrong about assessing these moments as a fun time. But this isn’t the moment for your pet to bring their favorite toy into the bed or your cat to swat at your toes.
So, how do you change these behaviors?
Experts suggest positive reinforcement training. Create a positive space for your pet to go during these moments. This might be a crate for your dog if they express aggressive behavior or simply can’t seem to leave you alone. In the crate, include interactive toys and treats, such as a food puzzle, or gnaw bone to keep them busy. When possible, exercise your pet beforehand whether that’s going to the dog park or a feline laser chasing session.
Ultimately, it depends on your comfort level and your pet’s reaction if you let your pet stay in the bedroom. Know that you’re in majority company having them stay. When survey takers were asked what they’d do if they wanted to be intimate and their pup was already in the bedroom, 62% said they’d still do it.