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Animals as a partner replacement? Do not humanize four-legged friends


We cuddle with them, talk to them and love our pets. However, there are problems when animals are considered and treated as partner replacements. Those who humanize dogs and cats may even harm human-animal relationships. A dog feels most comfortable when it can be a dog - Shutterstock / Nina Buday

First of all: Dogs and cats need love and appreciate their affection very much. The following is about what happens when animals are humanized as partner replacements. The fur noses cannot meet these requirements, which can lead to serious problems.

Whoever regards animals as a partner substitute is setting too high standards

If animals are treated as a partner set or as a replacement for children or roommates, claims are made that dogs and cats cannot do justice to. "If I am at work all day and want my cat to wait until the evening and look forward to being petted, this is at the expense of the animal," Ursula Bauer from the animal welfare association Aktion Tier told the Frankfurter Neue Presse. Pets cannot meet all the needs that people expect from a human partner. In return, animals have special requirements that are important for species-appropriate husbandry.

The natural order gets mixed up

Most human partnerships are democratic, and both partners are in the same place in the hierarchy. Raising a pet to the same level a person is standing on can lead to confusion. A dog, for example, only feels comfortable when it knows its limits and can move and be loved within them. The pack hierarchy provides security in the wild. You as a person should represent the pack leader and have the say. It is less about strict obedience, but more about trust and reliability.

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Humanization leads to irritation and frustration

Pets cannot meet the same expectations in a person's life as a human partner could. This easily leads to problems on both sides in everyday life, which are usually reflected in stress in animals. Communication, for example: Many who humanize their pets speak to them as they would speak to a person. Dogs and cats, however, work less with verbal language, but pick up more moods and signals through body language.