When the occasion arises to lie, people often report being dishonest in their everyday lives. People tell lies for lots of reasons–to gain something, protect someone’s feelings, or it may just roll out of their mouth before they even have time to filter it.
Whatever the reason, it’s not fun for the individual being lied to. Plus, the liar often feels guilty afterward. Turns out, this goes for lying to our pets too. According to a survey by Vester, 80% of pet owners feel guilty after lying to their pets. But why?
Why We Lie To Our Pets
Whether it’s tricking your pet into the car to go to the vet (“Let’s go for a ride!!”), or telling them that you have to cut the walk short because of nonexistent incoming inclement weather, people report feeling guilty about telling innocuous lies to their pets.
But that’s not the only reason pet parents feel guilty. 59% reported feeling guilty about not spending as much time as they’d like to with their pet, even though most people report spending between four to six hours a day with their pets. Around 53% of pet parents feel guilty about not letting their pets on the couch or bed and 58% feel guilty about either spending too much or too little money on their pets.
So, in short, pet owners have lots of guilty feelings about their furry friends. But, the good news is, these feelings are normal.
Feeling Guilty Is Totally Normal
Vester’s Medical Director, Dr. Sarah Machell, advised that feeling guilty is a normal human emotion. By reframing your feelings around love and care, pet owners will be able to set healthy boundaries with their furry friends. She also said that it is beneficial for your pets to have rules so they aren’t confused about how you’d like them to behave.
When pet owners have wronged their pets, 82% think that the pets know. They also think that their pet’s behavior changes toward them. The pet may ignore their owner, sulk, and not greet them at the door.
Pet owners will try lots of tactics to get back into their pet’s good graces. 40% of pet parents will take their pets for extra long walks according to the survey, while 57% will provide extra treats. And still, 48% of pet parents will give extra attention (i.e. belly rubs) all in an attempt to get out of the doghouse.