Pets are always a great addition to the family as they give off a sense of important companionship and comfort that are not just the same when it comes from other people. The connection between animals and humans have always been heartwarmingly peculiar, so it’s no surprise that some might have half dedicated their lives to bringing in lots of furries to take care of inside their homes.
Well, what is there to blame them, anyway? Not only do they provide a fun and playful environment within your homes, owning pets always have benefits that truly help the owner in the long run. Some of them include:
- Increase in physical activity. Sedentary woes are no more when you have a pet to attend to. May it be walking your dogs, taking long trips with your cats, or running and playing with them at the park, owning a pet will definitely amp up your physical fitness while actually enjoying it.
- Lower anxiety and stress levels. It is no brainer that your pets will definitely bring up your mood to a notch especially when you are experiencing a great deal of exhaustion when life gets too overwhelming sometimes. Comforts and cuddles with your pet are truly one way to calm your nerves down and simmer in your oxytocins.
- Socialization skills improvement. Have you ever approached a stranger just to pet and admire their dog? Walks in the park and short trips on the streets with your furry friends are surely one way to gain friends in a quick span of time. Pet owners usually tend to engage in conversations naturally, especially when they discover a lot of similarities with their relationships with their pets.
However, owning a lot of pets at the same time may be a challenge for owners to control a pleasant environment within their homes, especially for the first time meetings of contradicting pets — and yes, we’re talking about cats and dogs!
Cats and dogs are naturally hardwired to be wary of each other, especially when they are in a single house where they become more competitive with each other for their territories, food, and the attention of their human owners. They see each other as a threat which makes the possibility of them engaging in a fight higher. Living under the same roof as these equally antagonistic creatures will definitely drain the patience out of you at times, particularly when you need to make the house pleasantly welcoming ASAP.
You may not be so sure if your pets will eventually like each other, but you can definitely tweak the possibility of them tolerating each other to a reasonable cat-dog relationship. But how?
When animals meet with each other when they are still very young, it will definitely boost the chances of them interacting peacefully as they grow up. If you are planning to get a cat and dog together at the same time, it would be best if they are still puppies and kittens so that there is a decrease of wariness between them as they grow up familiar with each other.
First meetings, first dates
In such cases wherein you already have a cat or dog at home and would want to adopt another, expect that your new pet will not be welcomed easily by your old ones. Your old pet will think that a new animal is invading their territory, and that will make them aggressive towards another. To lessen the tension between them, try making them meet outside for the first time. Gradually make them used to being in each other’s presence, you can also make use of baby gates to simulate barriers between them.
Private spaces are important, even for your pets
When putting two opposing animals together, try to make the environment more engaging for them so that they would not be fully preoccupied in chasing and scaring one another. Cats like to venture on escape routes and jump up on high places as they prefer personal spaces more than dogs do. Prioritizing the privacy needs of both pets will help you create boundaries for them to enjoy their needs and wants without the threat of one another. Establish spots or rooms for them where they cannot bother each other at all.
Make sure your dog or puppy is well-trained
Ensuring that your dog is well-trained in different situations will definitely lessen your worries about how they would react when introduced to a new member of the family. You can train your dog at home, or if your schedule does not permit it, you can try enrolling them in dog obedience training programs so that they will be able to learn proper behaviors and would not pick a fight with any animal that passes their way.
Not only that it will help lessen the tension between your cat and dog, but it will also fully train your dog in all other aspects such as knowing when and where to go to the bathroom. Obedience training is also helpful in making your dogs remain calm and collected in every situation it faces.
Keep everything separate
Keeping their personal spaces away from each other is one thing, and keeping their food and toys all together will complete that trick. Keep their bowls separated and schedule their eating times regularly. Avoid free feeding, because that would ultimately enhance the possibility of your pets fighting with each other over food when they are not disciplined properly.
Owning both cats and dogs is truly not as challenging as you think it is if you know how to deal with it with patience and compassion. Making your pets get along with each other is not an overnight trick, but with proper time and patience management, they will definitely be able to tolerate each other over time — and maybe even become friends.