There are cat people, dog people, and people that would love to have one of every single pet they can! Multi-pet households are very common, but it’s not always clear how to create peaceful harmony at home when dealing with many different species.
Some dogs and cats, for example, fight constantly and must be kept away from each other to be safe. Others can coexist in peace. What do you need to know about your pets to have a happy and safe multi-pet household?
Today, take these top tips for maintaining peace at home when you have different types of pets. It is possible, but it is going to take some work for everyone involved!
Tip #1: Introduce Pets At A Young Age
In an ideal situation, every pet that joins your pack at home would be joining at a young age. This would allow harmony to begin from the early stages as each pet is socialized with other pets and types of pets. Bringing a puppy into a home with cats, for example, would theoretically be easier since you can help to manage the suitable kinds of interactions from a young age.
This takes a lot of management from a pet parent’s perspective, but it is crucial if you want to have a successful multi-pet household. Reinforcing the right types of behavior will be key for keeping peace at home.
Ensuring that your pets have good experiences with other species from a young age is one of the best tactics for having a healthy multi-pet household. Cats, dogs, birds, and more can have healthy relationships with each other when given the right opportunity.
Tip #2: Take Things Slow
It’s incredibly vital for you to remember that things are not going to improve overnight. Every interaction that goes well will be a step in the right direction, but the overall transition is likely to be a long process.
Be ready to take things slow. Do things gradually, and ensure that you do not start leaving animals alone together too soon.
Each specific animal needs time to adjust to the new circumstances, and it is key that you are there to supervise until you are positive things are going well. Some introductions may take several months to integrate fully, and that’s okay!
Supervised interactions can continue for as long as necessary; you just need to be prepared for the potential time it might take.
Tip #3: Create Safe Spaces
Certain types of animals must have safe spaces where they can retreat to. In particular, cats appreciate having these types of spaces where they can get away from their dog companions. Some dog breeds can also panic or have anxiety, so it’s a good idea to give both your pets a designated space they can call their own. Even if they generally get along well, having somewhere to retreat is excellent for all species.
Cat trees and baby gates can be a good way to divide cats and dogs when needed. With other areas such as birds and small pets, you might want to create a specific room where only they are so that they feel safe. This can keep cats from stalking or bothering them, and it gives you a way of efficiently managing the different animal relationships at home.
Tip #4: Work With Professionals
When working with dogs, in particular, it’s important to consider taking advantage of the wide range of professionals that exist to help you control your pets better. Learning about animal behavior from a certified consultant or dog trainer is a great way to start keeping the peace at home.
Not only will professionals help you to see what kind of training and changes your pet needs to go through, but they will also be able to teach you about being a better pet owner. Pet owners have a degree of responsibility to learn about animal behavior, and professionals can help you do just that.
When you are better able to understand pets, you will help pets act with good manners and treat each other better. You can even take classes for different kinds of pets so that you can be a better trainer and pet parent to all pets in your multi-pet household. Without the proper knowledge, an interspecies house is a difficult thing to keep peaceful.
Tip #5: Choose The Right Pets
Often, there are certain breeds of cats and dogs that people believe will get along better. There are even breeds of birds and other small animals that some say are more likely to get along.
However, it’s hard to generalize breeds in this way. It is not always reliable to assume that a dog will be friendly towards cats simply because of its species. Instead, it’s better to think about how a specific dog is.
An older adult dog that has shown it is calm with cats for its entire life, for example, is more likely to get along with another cat than a dog that used to work as a hunting or herding animal. Choosing pets that are more likely to be compatible is a good place to start when creating a safe, sustainable multi-pet household.