Pets bring joy

By on December 15, 2014

Pets are an important part of many people’s lives and can bring joy and warmth to one’s home and life. Because they become a major part of home activities and one’s lifestyle, there are important considerations to remember to make our animal friends feel welcome while also maintaining equilibrium in the home.

Animals are considered representatives of the Fire element, and therefore bring an important spark of energy into the home. They bring movement and sound to a physical space, in addition to the positive energy created by their interaction with the residents (provided that interaction is positive!). Anything that creates love and engagement can bring good vibes to a home, and pets can most definitely be part of this equation.

Where in your space the pet makes its own home is of prime importance. I have encountered homes where the pet resides in the kitchen, and this is most definitely not recommended. It is important for kitchens to provide as clean a canvas for creating food as possible, both physically and in terms of smell, and the reality is that all pets have a smell. It is easy for owners to lose track of this (our sense of smell is the most adaptable, which is why after a few moments of driving by a farm you will no longer notice the stench that horrified you so recently) and such smells being mixed in with food preparation are not ideal for one’s health. A much better spot is a corner of the living room, and possibly the bedroom, provided their toilet is not also located there.

2Where the pet does its business is just as important as where they sleep, if not more so: because the home must be as clean as possible to be healthy, having an open-air toilet in one’s residence can create challenges. Young pets in training are particularly tricky, as they can require the use of mats – in the right places. I have sometimes seen doggie toilet mats in the bedroom and the kitchen, two places where this placement can have serious repercussions on one’s health. You breathe in the air in your bedroom for hours at a time, and kitchens require clean air to be a healthy place to prepare your food. Naturally, dining rooms are also out since this is a ‘food goes in only’ space. Ideally you should be able to create a separate area in a spare room or day-use room; if you can, surround the area with plants so that there will be a natural air freshener. Place kitty litters with the entry to the wall so the cat has to walk around to get in, and put a plant on top of it to help disguise and freshen it.

Pets require you to develop lifestyle habits that take them into consideration. It is important that they get air and exercise regularly, and the opportunity to ‘leave their mark’ in the outdoors. I have noticed that in Japanese culture, dog owners often take their furry friends out only once a day. It is essential that they have three opportunities to go out each day, even if two of them are only for a few minutes. It is also important to remember to leave them enough food and water if you will be out of the home. This should also be in a location where it is easy for them to get to and where you won’t be tripping over it.

1Just as children require education and appropriate discipline, pets need to be taught how to be members of a shared household. On my last trip to Japan, I visited a home where the cats had shredded the wall in the stairway, and the owner was concerned about the value of the home going down; I suggested if the concern was great enough, drawing the line was important and that she should not let the cats in that area of the home if they will continue to devalue it. While some owners hesitate to discipline their animal, like any living being in a shared space, they need to be educated and to learn how to live respectfully with others – or the owner has to accept the consequences.
May you and your pet forever enjoy each other’s company!

About Mark Ainley

Mark Ainley is a Contemporary Feng Shui Consultant and Emotional Stress Consultant living in Vancouver. A former 5-year resident of Tokyo, Mark consults with clients internationally to help them design living and work spaces in alignment with their goals. He also provides consulting in emotional stress management, as well as in the connection between facial structure and innate behavioural and communication patterns. He can be reached through his website: and