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Many animal lovers find themselves rescuing animals of different species. There is already a dog in the house but you find it hard to ignore the poor half starved kitten on the street so you decide to adopt the kitty as well. A new pet is a big adjustment for the whole family, including the pet that you already have, so how do you make a smooth transition? And how do you ensure a peaceful coexistence?Here are some tips on how to get your cat and dog to coexist peacefully:
- The introduction: Introducing your furry babies to each other might not go as peacefully as you hoped, don’t lose heart and have patience. This is a process that could take a while so it’s best not to rush it. Bring the new addition slowly to the older pet and let them have a sniff of each other. Watch for reactions very carefully. If either looks like they might attack separate them right away. Try this a couple of times. Animals that are usually docile and friendly will eventually get used to each other. If you have a particularly aggressive pet then perhaps it is best you keep them separate at all times.
- Attention: New pets, especially very young animals need a lot of care and attention and tend to take up a lot of your time. Make sure not to ignore your older pet and give them just as much or even a little more attention during this time. Letting your older pet know that you still care about them helps to avoid any feelings of jealousy and resentment allowing the pets to get along better.
- Space: While cats are solitary animals and dogs live in packs, both are territorial. Your older pet would already have established its spots within your house. Be careful not to let the new pet encroach on this territory or things could get ugly. Train the new pet to have their own spaces elsewhere. Keep the beds and water bowls of each pet at a reasonable distance or in separate rooms to avoid conflict.
- Food: Most animals are very possessive of their food. Make sure that neither pet tries to eat out of the others food bowl while they are still getting used to each other. Stopping cats from eating dog food and vice-versa is also important for the health of your pets. In some cases, animals of the same species who have become used to each other share and interchange food bowls, but this is best avoided between two species who have their own specific diet.
By following these few guidelines you can help make the transition of bringing a new pet into the home a smooth one. With a smooth start, your pets will learn to get used to each other and peacefully coexist.