Narcissists see pets, like they see everything, as an extension of themselves.  They like to wear pets as an accessory, to get attention (from the pet, but also from other people who love pets) and as a source of unconditional love.  They also

  • Don’t talk back
  • Are not judgemental
  • Are always happy to see their owner no matter what they look like or for how long they have been gone
  • You only have to show up, to impress your pet
  • They are grateful for food, attention and treats
  • They don’t abandon their owners
  • They are usually easy to control
  • Culturally people “own” their pets which suits the narcissists point of view.

It is for this reason that it is important for a narcissist to have a “good” pet.  One that gets or gives loads of attention, be it exotic, beautiful, pure bred, aggressive or tiny – it doesn’t really matter to the narcissist so long as it is note-worthy and fits in with the image that the narcissist has of him/her self.

On observing a narcissist with their pet you will realise that they do not relate to their pet.  They may notice the macro behaviours, but they will be oblivious to the subtle nuances and any anxiety or upsets that their pet may be experiencing.

The narcissist owner of a pet will attribute adult human intention to all of the pet’s behaviour (just like they do with children).   So they will say things like “my dog barked all night just to annoy me”, “My puppy ate all of my shoes because s/he wanted attention”.

The narcissist may like the attention that pets give, but they will not like any of the house keeping that they involve.  So, they will not want to groom, poop scoop or walk (unless being fit is part of their image and an opportunity to get pet admiration).

If a pet gets sick, old or disfigured in some way, the narcissists reaction will be to get rid of it in some form or another, an imperfect pet is not an acceptable extension or accessory for the narcissist (Unless they are soliciting that type of attention).  Even if the illness is relatively easy to cure, the illness will be considered to be tedious and a burden.

They will often spoil their pets with toys, clothes, bows and treats, but it is a purchase of attention in the eyes of the narcissist and that attention is a resource (narcissistic supply), it has nothing to do with the well-being of the pet.

The narcissist will say to an acquaintance if they hear that their dog died yesterday “why don’t you just go out and get another one?”, they will also abandon their pet if they have a lifestyle change and the pet no longer serves them.