You really can’t compare the love you have for a spouse or significant other to your love of a dog — the two are very different. But it can be easy to get in the habit of showering your adorable canine with love and attention. Dogs actively seek and expect affection, while a loved one may not. This might sometimes leave your partner with a sense that you love the family pet more than you love him. Before you jump into marriage counseling, take a look at our list to see if you truly do love your dog more than your spouse.
1. You greet your dog first when you come home.
You walk through the door after a long day or a trip away and shower your pup with hugs and kisses but don’t give the same treatment to your significant other. While your spouse might not need or want immediate cuddle time, be sure he knows you missed him just as much.
You also need to beware of causing behavior issues when greeting your dog. Trainer Mikkel Becker advises that you shouldn’t turn your hellos and goodbyes into emotional scenes because they can be distressing for your pooch. This practice can exacerbate separation anxiety and increase your dog’s distress at being left alone.
2. You shower your dog with compliments.
You tell him multiple times a day what a handsome boy he is, but you rarely bother to tell your husband he looks great in that suit or fantastic in that new shirt. Men appreciate compliments, too!
3. You constantly post pictures of your dog online.
You might upload the occasional photo of your spouse or of the two of you together, but when your friends check out your Facebook feed, it’s usually full of pics of you and your dog. Who can blame you? That dog is so photogenic and does the cutest things. But perhaps it might be a better idea to make him his own Facebook page so your friends and family can choose whether or not they want to wade through all those dog park photos.
4. You have an adorable nickname for your dog.
Nicknames are a clear sign of endearment, and there’s a good chance your guy could take offense to the dog being called “sweetheart,” “sweet pea” or “baby,” especially if the only endearing moniker he gets is “hey you.”
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5. You talk your problems out with your pooch.
Let’s face it: Dogs don’t argue, and they are fantastic listeners. It’s easy to unload your worries and problems on your dog, and is there really much harm in it? In fact, your spouse might prefer that you unload on Fido instead of bending his ear for more than an hour about that work problem.
6. You compare your spouse’s love for you to your dog’s.
Your dog loves you unconditionally, and you know it. Dogs don’t judge you, are very forgiving and don’t hold a grudge. Even if they hate that harness you make them wear in the backseat of the car, they don’t hold it against you — which may not be the case with a certain someone, who isn’t thrilled when you suggest he’s not taking the fastest route.
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7. You ignore your spouse’s allergies and insist your dog sleep in the bed.
You love to cuddle with your pooch at night; however, if it interferes with your significant other’s ability to sleep or breathe, you might want to make some adjustments. For allergy sufferers, Dr. Marty Becker recommends keeping pets out of the bedroom completely and, if not, at least keeping the bed a fur-free zone. Creating a pet-free sleeping area will ease your partner’s allergies and maybe even strengthen your relationship.
Obviously your dog is the perfect pooch. We all love our pets very much, and their need for us can sometimes overshadow our other relationships. Remember to take your partner’s feelings into consideration as well, and if he expresses discontent over your overt affection for the dog, try giving him a little extra attention instead of telling him to “get over it.”
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.