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Your Boyfriend Is Jealous of Your Dog? Here's Why

By Aviram K.
Updated at October 11, 2021
6 min read
Your Boyfriend Is Jealous of Your Dog? Here's Why
✏️ This article has been reviewed in accordance with our editorial policy.
🏥 The information in this article is not a substitute for professional help.

As you gaze into the eyes of your dog, all you feel is pure love, warmth, and joy. Their face reflects such a pure kindness that can be difficult to find in life. You can’t imagine looking at them and feeling anything but happiness and adoration.

But what if someone looks at your dog and feels completely different?

What if someone looks at your furry best friend and actually feels one of the darkest emotions?


And what if this person is…your boyfriend.

It can be hard to grasp this concept, but it definitely happens.

Your boyfriend may be jealous of your dog because he feels like you give your dog more attention than him. He may also have a different world view of how dogs should be treated. In extreme cases, it could mean your boyfriend lacks empathy.

In this article, I will break down the reasons your boyfriend may be jealous of your dog.

Then, I will explore whether a dog can ruin a relationship. And, finally, I will wrap things up by discussing things you can do if your partner hates your dog.

This is a sensitive, complicated, and significant topic. The way it is handled can have major implications for your relationship.

But have no fear; I’m here to help.

Let’s dig in!

Table of Contents
Why Is Your Boyfriend Jealous of Your Dog?
Can a Dog Ruin a Relationship?
What to Do When Your Partner Hates Your Dog
At the End of the Day, It’s Your Choice

Why Is Your Boyfriend Jealous of Your Dog?


If you have the suspicion that your boyfriend is jealous of your dog, you may feel “crazy” for even thinking that.

You may think: who could ever even feel that way?

And even more puzzling, why would they feel that way?

As a dog lover, it’s really hard to understand the mind of someone who doesn’t love your pet.

Taking a moment to understand where your boyfriend could be coming from can help. You may never fully “get it” but approaching this from a lens of understanding gives you the best odds of preserving the relationship.

Here are a few of the main reasons that your boyfriend may be jealous of your dog:

Your Boyfriend Feels like Your Dog Gets More of Your Attention than He Does

Unless your boyfriend is a dog lover who experiences affection for dogs like you do, he may feel competitive with your dog. Even though it’s not another man, he sees someone that is getting love, cuddles, and attention from you.

Your boyfriend’s jealousy can intensify if he feels like he’s taking the backseat to your pup. Canceling your plans together for your pup or time-consuming doggy duties may make him feel low on your list of priorities.

Some people just want and expect your pure and unadulterated attention whenever you are around them. This isn’t necessarily right or wrong, but it can be people’s expectation, nonetheless.

If your boyfriend seems unreasonably jealous of the time you give your dog, this can actually be a red relationship flag.

Pay close attention:

Is it only your dog he reacts this way with? Or does he get upset when your attention is pulled away from him due to friends, family, or job responsibilities?

If your boyfriend’s jealousy is pervasive, this can be a sign that he may be controlling.

Your Boyfriend May Have Grown up with a Different Experience of Dogs than You


Your boyfriend’s mindset towards dogs and pets, in general, was likely formed long before you met him.

Your boyfriend may have grown up in a culture where dogs are strictly relegated to the outdoors. Maybe he rarely interacted with dogs and certainly didn’t consider them family.

If your boyfriend grew up this way, he might be genuinely puzzled by the way you love your pup. He may even think it’s inappropriate and have a difficult time wrapping his brain around it.

This may hurt to hear and feel hard to understand, but, in this case, this doesn’t show any character defect on your boyfriend’s part. It’s likely just different world-views and upbringings colliding and causing confusion.

Your Boyfriend May Lack Empathy

This potential explanation for why your boyfriend may be jealous of your dog is very serious. It is said that how a person treats wait staff and anyone who is “below” them says a lot about who a person is.

This is not to say that anyone who doesn’t like dogs has a problem or is a bad person. Not at all.

But do you sense that your boyfriend’s jealousy for your dog runs very deep? Does it almost feel like your boyfriend is “heartless” towards your pup?

If you answered yes, your boyfriend might lack empathy.

Generally, people who lack empathy see anyone who is weaker or dependent as “less than.” They view them as pathetic and see them as a burden.

If your boyfriend lacks empathy, the jealousy your boyfriend exhibits towards your dog may have a sense of coldness and cruelty.

In this case, you will get the feeling that your dog is a major inconvenience to your boyfriend. You also may get the chilling feeling that your boyfriend wishes your dog would just go missing. Or that he wished they didn’t exist at all.

If your boyfriend is particularly bold, he may even verbalize these feelings. He may follow up demeaning or morbid statements about your dog with downplaying phrases like, “I’m just kidding.”

Or he may not even cover up his disdain, speaking in a matter-of-fact way or even yelling at you.

Can a Dog Ruin a Relationship?


A dog can absolutely ruin a relationship. It’s not that the dog themselves does anything intentionally; it’s more the natural side effects of a dog being in the picture can really affect things.

Pups can be the cause of a lot of arguments and strife in a relationship. Some of the most significant areas of conflict can arise from:

  • The added financial burden of caring for a dog, including major unexpected expenses
  • A mismatch in time spent with your dog vs. time with your partner
  • An imbalance in the split of dog-related care and chores
  • Disagreements over dog training methods
  • Difficulties with managing pups who have special needs, who are messy or destructive

Aside from the reasons above, your boyfriend being jealous of your dog or “not being a dog person” can be a deal-breaker. It can be as simple as that.

What to Do When Your Partner Hates Your Dog


If your partner has made it clear that they hate your dog, this can put you in an uncomfortable position. Luckily, there are ways to manage this situation if you have the patience and care to try.

Here are a few ways you can handle this tough predicament:

Talk with Your Partner

Try to see what it is about your dog that your partner dislikes. Use every bit of empathy and sympathy you have to put yourself in your partner’s shoes, as tough as that may be. Listening with the intent to truly understand can help diffuse any feelings of anger and defensiveness you may feel about your partner’s feelings towards your pup.

Work with Your Partner to Make Adjustments

If you value your relationship and your partner’s expectations are reasonable, it makes sense to try modifications to see if they help.

Throughout this process, it’s necessary to also honestly examine your own behavior as well.

For example, your partner may feel jealous if you come home and rush to greet your dog before even acknowledging them. It makes sense that this could hurt them.

In this instance, greeting your partner first may make them feel more secure and cared for.

Setting reasonable boundaries with your pet, like not coming into the bed with you and your partner, may be an easy fix. Setting aside pet-free time with just you and your partner may help if they’re feeling ignored. Or, on the flipside, intentionally including your partner in your puppy playtime can help if they feel left out.

Consider If It’s Really Worth It

If trying to understand your partner and making adjustments isn’t working, you may need to do some serious thinking.

Can you live with someone who doesn’t love your pet?

On the more intense end of the spectrum, do you want to be with someone who actually hates your pet?

If your partner can’t seem to stomach your dog and acts aloof or cruel towards them, it may be a matter of time until they turn this behavior towards you.

If they’re capable of showing hatred towards your innocent pup, do you really want to stick around and see what the depths of their coldness could potentially be?

This isn’t to scare you; it’s just a sad and potential reality to consider.

In this case, if you have a sinking feeling in your stomach, it may be best to heed the warning. Even if you haven’t seen your partner abuse your pet, but you feel they’re capable, it may be best to consider walking away before it gets that far.

At the End of the Day, It’s Your Choice


How you deal with a boyfriend who is jealous or hateful towards your dog is up to you. You may feel all of your partner’s other good traits outweigh this one unfortunate one.

This may be reason enough to stay and try to make adjustments to work things out. No judgment on that. Implementing the tips discussed in this article can make a big difference.

If your partner’s dislike of your pet seems to have a dark undercurrent that goes deeper than jealousy and annoyance, this is something definitely worth examining.

I also want to validate that you are perfectly justified to want to be with someone who not only tolerates your dog but really loves them. Sharing life with someone who naturally adores your pup just as much as you do is beautiful. You’re not asking for too much if that is your standard.

Ideally, you can find someone who loves your dog just as much as they love you.

I wish that for you!

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