Do dogs and cats really hate each other, or is it just a mere saying? If you ask every pet owner, they’ll tell you a different story. After all, our dear furry friends have their own individual personalities, so there are chances that one might be friendlier and another would prefer to spend time alone.
Yes, there are dogs that hate cats and cats that can’t stand dogs, but there are also many cases where they both love each other! Yes, there are many factors that can influence this relationship: their ages when they meet, their breed, and their environment. However, there is always an opportunity for them to get along, and all you have to do is train them!
If you are a dog or cat owner or planning to be one, here are four easy tips you can start with to help your pets get along and live in harmony:
Don’t Rush—Keep Your Dog and Cat Apart for a While
When adding a new furbaby to your home, expect a little surprise from your dog or cat. This is because pets need time to adjust to new things in their life—just like humans.
For animal friends, the first thing to start with is getting them used to new sounds and smells. Sometimes, little things will even get them anxious and agitated, so start with placing small items while keeping them in different spaces.
Then, try feeding them in the same area, a few feet apart and a barrier separating them. Eventually, feed them closer and closer until you think they’re ready to meet.
Introduce Them to Each Other With Safety in Mind
The first interaction between a pet dog and a cat can be crucial. You don’t want them to fight, go out of control, or worse, injure each other. With that in mind, try doing it with a screen door or a baby gate.
When you observe that your pets are calm, allow them to stay together in the same room. As an additional safety precaution, use a dog lead, leash, or harness. By doing this, you have a way to control your dog’s sudden movements, especially their urge to chase.
Teach Your Dog to Relax and Be Calm Around Cats
Dogs love running, especially when they’re chasing after something. Your cat, unfortunately, can become the ideal target. So, train your dog with calming exercises, especially when a cat is nearby. Whenever they stick to staying relaxed, reward them with some dog treats as a form of positive reinforcement.
You can also help your dog keep focused with regular and constant training. Let them understand that hurting the cat is a big no-no. So, when they feel the urge to play and chase, direct them to their favorite toy instead.
Let Your Dog and Cat Get Used to Each Other
As your dog learns appropriate behavior even without the leash, you can allow them to interact with each other in the same room. But don’t leave them alone just yet! Make sure you’re always there to encourage, praise, reward, and protect (in a worst-case scenario).
Moreover, you should think about making them suited for cohabitation by eliminating ways they might hurt each other. Always take care of their nails so they won’t scratch each other, and make sure they still have space in the home where the other won’t reach. This way, they can have a safe area to escape whenever they feel like it.
It’s every pet lover's dream to have all of the pets in the house living life as best friends. This is definitely possible when you work on training them and exerting the effort. As they work on improving their relationship, you should also work on giving them the things they need. You can add that extra layer of protection by investing in high-quality accessories for your pet.
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