It can lead to tearful separations, but cheating is natural—for quadrupeds, that is. It really is them, not you, a veterinarian tells MSNBC. Pets may gravitate toward a new owner for any number of reasons. “Hallie was my dog, but I always sensed her unhappiness at having to share my attention with other dogs,” says one owner. “With her own person, she has blossomed.”
Those unwilling to part ways can establish a stronger bond by playing games to show that they are fun owners, a behaviorist suggests. And using a leash around visitors until the dog learns to focus on you first will tell the canine, “You can have what you want, but remember that I’m here and you should ask me first,” she says.