The romantic notion of one big happy blended pet family may not become a reality when your new date and your pet first lay eyes on each other. It may be hard to imagine pets having such a "human" emotion as jealousy, but like children, pets can find it difficult to share their owner's attention and affection with not only a new lover, but also a lover's pet. Many animal behaviorists agree that pets might not actually get jealous, but they react to the changes that a new person can bring. Pets may display their displeasure with new loved ones by exhibiting behaviors ranging from the annoying to the alarming. Cats can show their stress and unhappiness with a new situation by becoming distant and dogs may exhibit out-of-the-ordinary behavior, like biting, excessive barking or growling at the unwelcome newcomer. They may urinate on your new honey's favorite chair to let them know who's in charge, or cats may scratch at the newcomers' hand. Having to choose between a hissing cat who's loved you unconditionally for many years and the person who just might be "the one," is not easy, but hopefully such a heart-wrenching decision won't have to be made. Getting through this trying transition will take time and some creative tactics. If your pet is "jealous," time and space could be the best remedy. Introducing a new pet and/or a new person into the home, even if it is just for short regular visits, can upset a pet's sense of well-being. They are territorial and get bent out of shape if they feel their space is being invaded. If the pet's displeasure is directed at another pet, make the introduction gradually over time. Keep them in separate areas at first and then slowly move them closer so they can get used to each other. A new arrival may mean a pet's environment is being used in a different way. An owner's new girlfriend might unknowingly sit in the pet's favorite chair, setting off a chain reaction of negative reactions to that new person. Pets like routine and new people likely mean new routines. To help with the transition, never punish a pet for the bad behavior. Visit the vet to rule out any physical problems. For dogs, create or try sticking to routines such as taking a walk at certain times. If your pet is used to hanging out on your bed, set up a new routine of playing with them in a different part of the home, so they won't feel abandoned if your new loved one spends the night. New relationships may mean less time spent with your pet. Shower them with love and extra attention and make the most of the time you do spend with them. This can reassure the pet that they are still wanted. Enlisting the services of a pet behaviorist can also provide some relief to the situation. Banishing the dog to the backyard should not be the immediate reaction when a dreamy new love interest swells up in the presence of your pooch. If your new sweetie is mildly allergic to your pet, over-the-counter antihistamines might help, but if the allergic reaction is very strong, consider having dates outside the pet owner's home, or designating specific areas of the home for the pet to spend most of their time. The idea is to help your pet and your lover learn to love, or at the very least, tolerate each other for the duration of your dating or married lives.