By Kathryn Weber
Every space needs active energy and love. Pets give us both. And pets allow us to express our love, too. Dogs are wonderful for infusing a home with lively energy, fish bring wealth, birds symbolize success, turtles symbolize longevity, and cats are symbols of financial and opportunity luck, i.e, lucky cats. Pets are often looked on as members of the family, so their needs, and their impact, should be considered when you are looking at the feng shui of your home.
Regardless of the type of pet you have, there are some simple feng shui guidelines about having pets that range from common sense suggestions about care and feeding, to things you might not consider, such as how pets impact your relationships, finances, or health.
Pets Are Great Feng Shui
This is the most important thing to remember. Their energy and liveliness mean we have an active home even when we aren’t there, making our homes more “yang.” Dogs, for instance, also provide protective energy for our homes helping us to feel more secure and safe.
When dogs bark and wag their tails happily, they give us lots of exuberant joy. And petting and caring for any animal gives us and them great feng shui energy — and displays of love are always wonderful feng shui. This is the best case.
But when are pets not good feng shui?
There are some instances when the feng shui of your home is disturbed by pets. Most often this is when pets and people are out of balance – something that isn’t the pets’ fault.
Good Feng Shui Means Pets Are Cared for Properly
The worst-case scenario with pets is when they’re not cared for properly. If the fish tank isn’t clean and clear, the fish don’t do as well – and neither do you. Fish represent success in feng shui and wealth, and if the water is dirty, then both may elude you.
In feng shui, dirty water can also lead to health problems. One of the worst situations I ever saw was a fish tank so dirty you couldn’t even see the fish at all. The couple who lived in this house were dead broke and divorced after a short time. I could feel nothing but sorrow for those poor creatures.
What must have other visitors thought — and what did this nasty tank do the psyche of everyone in the home? Or, what was the message to the child who saw parents who cared so little for these fish that they wouldn’t even provide them with clean water?
So, while it’s nice to have a pet, the first priority must always be the pet’s health, safety, and care. If you don’t have the proper space or time to care for the pet, then it’s better not to have them because, simply put, having animals in poor condition is very bad feng shui, and their mistreatment can harm your well-being as well.
People Come Before Pets in Feng Shui
If animals live in the house, it’s important to make sure that proper hierarchy is observed. When there is a pet problem, difficulties in the home can range from romantic struggles to health problems because the pets have dominance over people, either in behavior or number. When the pet is on equal footing with people, then the pet may present behaviors that are challenging and that’s when things like bites or bad habits can occur.
Remember, good pet feng shui is about balance and boundaries.
While there are cases where animals are not cared for properly, i.e., given the right conditions, treatment, too little interaction or stimulation, or care, today it’s very often the case that the pets are in a position equal or superior to the people in the house.
So, be sure to observe some simple feng shui pet rules:
1. Animals Should Not Be Allowed On Furniture.
Occasionally getting on the sofa is okay, but when both people and pets are on furniture all the time, it puts pets on equal footing with people. Establishing yourself as the “Pack Leader” is important according to famed dog trainer Cesar Milan. That means establishing where people sit or sleep and where pets sit or sleep.
2. Animals Should Not Be on The Bed
This is especially true for couples. When a pet shares a bed, it can sometimes divide the couple, getting in the way of romance, and sometimes, the relationship. It would be better if the animals were not in the bedroom of a couple, but if it comes to choosing between pets sleeping in the room on the bed or the floor, go with the floor, never the bed.
3. Pets Shouldn’t Be the First Thing Someone Notices About Your House.
Pets should enhance a home, not dominate it. If your kitty litter box is the first thing someone sees – or smells – when you enter the home, then there’s a problem – and it’s not just the smell. If this is the case, you’ll find that this is a house where one or more of the occupants are likely struggling from lack of a job, health issues, or money troubles. Treat a cat litter box like a toilet, putting it somewhere out of sight. A bathroom is a good location for the cat little box.
Good behavior is also a hallmark of good pet shui. If you have a dog that barks, jumps on, scares or threatens people as soon as they enter your home. Well, then, you have a situation where every time someone comes in, fear comes with them, and that can affect your home’s feng shui and your life.
If this sounds like your pet, then at the very least, have your pet secured in another room when someone comes to visit. The fear they inspire will create a yin environment. If this is your situation, then you have a home where your energy is dragging and motivation is low.
One feng shui client has a very aggressive dog that he thinks is sweet and wonderful. However, this dog scares me to death. Every time I go to this house, this dog unnerves me and I leave with a sick stomach. This dog definitely rules the roost and he knows it.
What’s worse is that the dog is given full reign of the house and my client thinks it’s cute that the dog feels threatened if someone comes into the house or has a relationship with him. Yet, this client struggles on a number of fronts, particularly with love relationships. This is definitely a situation where the animal comes before people and scares away potential love relationships. Authority should be re-established with this pet so that the home is allowed make visitors not feel threatened, and that will help draw people (or a new love interest?) to this man’s life.
4. Your Dog/Cat/Bird/Etc. Shouldn’t Come Before Anyone Else – or Replace People.
If Fido or Fluffy are the central part of your life, then your feng shui could be out of balance. For example, one client had pictures of her dog in every room of the house. She struggled with finding a romantic partner and was very upset about being over forty with no love prospects in sight. When I went to her bedroom, I noticed she even had an expensive oil painting of the dog over her bed.
Well, how could a romantic partner come to the house when 1) the dog barked and jumped on everyone coming in the door; and 2) the dog was “top dog” to the extent that she symbolically slept over her master every night? 3) Monogrammed dog toys and photos of the dog were in every room, and 4) the dog slept with this woman every night.
I advised this client that there was no room for a new partner in her life because her partner was her dog, symbolized by his toys, furniture, and pictures in every room. I advised her to move the painting over the bed and make other enhancements to help her love life, but she would not part with or move the painting, or get the dog his own bed on the floor. She remains single to this day, almost twenty years later.
Another woman had four pet turtles that went everywhere with her, yet she desperately wanted to attract a love interest. Pets shouldn’t come between people or replace them. If looking for love, remember that no one wants to compete with a pet. Setting boundaries for your pet, such as not sleeping with them, shows potential love interests that you are a person with a pet, not the pet’s person.
5. Your Health Shouldn’t Suffer From Having Pets
Be careful of cleanliness issues, such as sharing dishes with your pet, cleaning a pet’s dishes with the same sponge used on your own dishes, or sharing your bed. There is a dangerous infection that people can get from the intestines of dogs and cats. Maintain cleanliness for your pet and yourself. Sometimes that means limiting the number of pets, especially if you have allergies.
6. Don’t Make Your Friends and Family Avoid Your Home
If you have to use a lint brush on friends and family before they leave your house, this could make others avoid coming over. The fur clinging to them is very “yin” and will make your guests feel depleted or dirty when they leave your home. This energy then makes your house feel yin, too.
Some people avoid homes where cats roam the kitchen counters and dining room table or where owners let their dogs lick the dishes clean, so consider how your pets might affect your social life.
7. Be a Pet Owner that Exercises Good Feng Shui.
Simply having a loving, well-behaved and cared-for pet is good for you. Being a pet owner has been shown to extend longevity and improve health and happiness. Just keep your relationship with your pet in balance, for the benefit of you both, and for the good energy of your home and the benefits that good feng shui brings to your life.