One in six* pet parents claim their pets have taken a disliking to one or more of their friends, according to a survey by Rosewood Pet Products.
The pet manufacturer surveyed the UK’s pet parents to discover the most mischievous acts our furry friends have committed, with many respondents admitting to their pets being at their ‘naughtiest’ in front of guests.
Relieving themselves in a guest’s handbag or shoes topped the list for the worst, and most frequent, offence. Whilst 10 percent admitted that their pets had chewed and destroyed a guest’s belongings at least once – including a Mulberry handbag!
Others claimed that strangers were their pet’s biggest target, with one respondent stating, “My dog has cocked his leg on people when out walking. I think it’s territorial as he only does it if a stranger and their dog stop to chat.”
Cats also came under fire when it came to territorial acts, with one cat owner stating that their pet “urinated on my sister’s coat when she visited and also once sprayed up my hubby’s leg when he was asleep on the settee.”
“We often forget how important scent is as a communication tool for our pets,” says David Alderton**, an expert on pet behaviour. “Rather than getting the mop out and wiping the floor, or putting smelly clothes in the washing machine, they simply spray the affected area to mask what to them is an offending smell!”
David adds, “Bags and shoes can be an irresistible target for young dogs to chew, especially if an individual feels bored and left out of what is happening. They soon learn this behaviour gets attention. Don’t leave temptation in your pet’s path and make sure your dog has plenty of toys available to reduce the risk of boredom.”
Bev Panter, Marketing Director at Rosewood Pet Products, added, “These results highlight just how much a pet’s behaviour can vary based on their environment – even the most well behaved pet can act differently should they experience a huge change in their daily routine. Eliminating boredom is a key step in ensuring your pet is on their best behaviour when you have guests and if you have any specific rules for your pets, such as staying off the sofa, make sure your visitors are aware so they can help enforce that rule.”
*Survey of 1,376 pet parents by Rosewood Pet Products, October 2017
**David Alderton MA (Cantab.) is a broadcaster and writer on pets and their behaviour, whose books have sold nearly seven million copies in over 30 languages worldwide.
This story is a guest submission and does not reflect the views of Dogs Monthly Magazine, always consult a qualified expert.