Every space needs active energy and love. Pets give us both. And pets allow us to express our love, too. Pets are often looked on as members of the family, and as such, should be considered when you are reviewing the feng shui of your home.
Regardless of the type of pet, 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 GOOD FENG SHUI
This is the most important thing to remember. Their energy and liveliness means 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.
GOOD FENG SHUI MEANS PETS ARE CARED FOR PROPERLY
The worst case scenario is when pets are 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.
Furthermore, 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, 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(s) is very bad feng shui.
GOOD FENG SHUI KEEPS PETS & PEOPLE BALANCED
If animals live in the house, it's important to make sure that proper hierarchy is observed. I can't tell you how many pet horror stories I see that range from romantic difficulties to health problems because the pets have dominance over people. Remember, you are the master of your domain, and it should remain this way. Also, good feng shui is about balance.
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, it's very often the case that the pets are in a position superior to the people in the house. This means the house is out of balance, and if this is the case, the feng shui is impacted. The end result means that life is not as good as it could – or should – be.
Try to observe some simple feng shui pet rules.
1. ANIMALS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED ON FURNITURE
– unless it's furniture specifically for them. This puts them on equal footing with people.
2. ANIMALS SHOULD NOT BE ON THE BED, particularly for couples. This divides the couple and gets 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 you see – or smell – when you enter someone's home, then there's a problem – and it's not just mean the smell. If this is the case, you will find that this is a house where the occupant(s) is usually struggling.
Maybe 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. Is this the kind of environment you want to live in?
If this sounds like your pet(s), then at the very least, they should be 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 homeowner has a very large aggressive dog that he thinks is sweet and wonderful. However, this dog scares visitors. This dog definitely rules the roost and he knows it.
What's worse is when a pet is given full reign of the house and its owner thinks it's “cute.” One such homeowner struggles on a number of fronts, particularly with relationships. This is definitely a situation where the animal comes before the person, and makes one wonder if the dog scares away potential love relationships. Authority should be re-established with this pet so that the home is allowed to draw people (or a new love interest?) to it.
4. YOUR DOG/CAT/BIRD/ETC. SHOULDN'T COME BEFORE ANYONE ELSE.
If Fido or Fluffy do, this, too, is a problem. Feng shui is all about balance. If pets are completely superior, then balance doesn't exist. For example, one woman had pictures of her dog all over the house. She struggled with finding a romantic partner and was very upset about being over forty with no love prospects in sight. 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?
Despite being advised to move the picture and make other enhancements to help her love life, but she would not part with the picture and remains single to this day. Pets should not come between people.
5. YOUR HEALTH SHOULDN'T SUFFER FROM HAVING PETS.
I am constantly amazed at people who suffer from all kinds of health complaints, but yet they have eight indoor cats and swear it's the pollen outside that's bothering them. The cats are all over the furniture and the kitchen counters. This is not healthy, not to mention a turn off to visitors. Cats, in particular, are yin animals. Offset their yin energy by keeping lights on and music playing to keep your home active and energetic.
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 them feel depleted or dirty when they leave your home. This energy then makes your house feel yin, too.
If your house isn't sociable, visitors rarely come by, or people leave right away, then think about revving up your environment with bright colors, sunlight, music, or other active enhancements. It may be that the environment is too yin.
7. USE YOUR PETS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE WITH FENG SHUI.
Simply having a loving pet is good for you. But, the pet must also be good for the entire home to the extent that the pet is friendly, clean, and not bothersome to your relationships or visitors to you home.
Dogs are wonderful for infusing a home with lively energy, fish bring success, turtles symbolize longevity, and cats are symbols of financial luck (i.e., lucky cats seen at Asian businesses). So, as hard as it might be, take a long look at your pet situation to make sure that your pets aren't harming your feng shui and are enhancing your life.
Kathryn Weber is the publisher of the Red Lotus Letter feng shui e-zine and is dedicated to helping her readers develop successful, prosperous, and supportive environments with feng shui. To subscribe, logon to www.redlotusletter.com and receive this special report Fr*ee "16 Feng Shui Secrets for Greater Prosperity."