What Can You Do If Your Pet Doesn’t Like You?

If you’ve decided to take a pet home from the shelter, you probably never thought about the possibility of your new pet not liking you. We tend to think that all adopted pets will show gratitude and love straight away, but that’s often not the case. What can you do if it turns out your pet isn’t as friendly as you hoped they would be?

In many cases, it’s only natural that a newly adopted animal doesn’t trust you from the moment you take it home. They may have had negative experiences with people before. But if your new pet shows signs of aggression toward you, you shouldn’t just wait for them to go away.

As Dr. Rachel Malamed, a veterinary behavior specialist at BehaviorDogtor told Martha Stewart, it’s possible that the animal is reacting to the way you behave. “The use of confrontational techniques such as physical or verbal reprimands have been shown to increase aggressive behavior and diminish trust,” Dr. Malamed said. She explains that punishment is not an effective method as it “only intensifies the pet’s fear and the aggression usually worsens.”

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It can take a lot of time and effort to get to know your new animal and become friends with them, so don’t rush and avoid frustration if things aren’t going according to plan.