Petophilia, addicted to your pet 

Do you treat your pet like a person? Do you feel that you can't leave your pet's side? Find out what petophilia is, and why you have an addiction to your pet.



If you have answered yes to these questions, you may be interested in this article in which we are going to explain what petophilia consists of. We will give you some pointers to discover whether you suffer from it along with some tips for having a healthy and balanced relationship with your pet. 

What is petophilia?

Petophilia is excessive love for pets or, to put it otherwise, confusing the affection and care that we must rightly provide for our animals with an unhealthy attachment. 

Nowadays, nobody doubts that animals deserve respect and that a pets is one of the family, but if it gets out of hand we can cause serious problems, for both our emotional health and that of our animals. 

To work out if you are addicted to your pet, we are going to give you some pointers:

  • You talk to your pet as if it were a person and tell it about your problems and daily activities.
  • It is difficult for you to be separated from your pet, even temporarily.
  • You worry excessively when your pet gets sick and your health suffers too.
  • You spend too much time on your pet, creating a dependency in the animal that can lead to behavioural problems.
  • You prefer to be with your pet than with human beings and you isolate yourself from your family and friends.
  • You only go out to places where animals are allowed, thus limiting your social activity.
  • Your reading material consists only of blogs and books about animals. You read so much about animals that you are the "dog charmer" of your local dog park and advise everyone on how they should take care of their pet.
  • You wear clothes and accessories with prints of your pet.
  • You spend more money on your pet's food than on your own.
  • You dress your pet in human clothing and even sit it to eat at the table. 
  • On your social networks, you publish more photos of your pet than of yourself and write the posts as if it were your pet speaking. 
  • Whenever you leave home, you buy treats or a gift for your furry companion. 
  • You only practice sports that you can do with your pet.
  • You choose your holiday destination thinking about your pet's preferences.
  • When you are on the sofa and your pet falls asleep on top of you, you don't get up so as not to disturb it, even if your legs fall asleep or you have something important to do.
  • You celebrate your pet's birthday and throw a party inviting their furry friends, with a sausage tart and their favourite treats.

If you recognise yourself in any of these scenarios, you may suffer from petophilia or, at the very least, be somewhat addicted to your pet, to a greater or lesser extent. But don't worry, this situation can be resolved. 

If you have serious case of petophilia, we advise you to go to a psychologist, but if you only identify with one or two of the descriptions, here are some recommendations:

  • Make a list of the activities that you like to do and that you cannot share with your dog. Do one of them once a month. Take that time for yourself. Your pet will wait for you at home and when you return, you can reward them with extra playtime.
  • Find a trusted dog daycare and leave your pet for a weekend. You can take advantage of the time to travel with your family or friends. You will switch off from your daily routine and return home happier, and your pet will notice and appreciate it.
  • Consult with an ethologist in order to start treating your dog or cat for what it is, an animal. This doesn't mean you stop loving your pet, but rather that you will understand their true needs and be able to give them the care they really need. In this way, both of you will be much happier. 

You can start with these little steps and, little by little, life together with your pet will be happier and without undue attachment.