No doubt, adopting pets that enter animal shelters every year is certainly a noble gesture as you save the lives of stray, or abandoned animals.
While bringing these animals to your home can be your initial step, living with them can have its own challenges to overcome and fulfill your purpose.
Especially, if you have multiple pets in the house, you would want them to get along well having a healthy bond. Thus, if you have more than one pet or are aspiring to adopt another one, this post can be quite useful.
Fortunately, two or more pets can live in harmony and enjoy each other’s company. The key to achieving this is patience, and smart techniques, which can enable them to bond like good siblings.
So, let’s explore all the top tips to make two or more pets get along at your home.
Make The Introduction at a Neutral Zone
First of all, try not to bring a new pet, a dog, a cat, or any other adopted animal directly to your home.
This may provoke the home pet which can create chaos. The first introduction can be in a park where the home pet may not consider the other pet a threat.
Under your close observation, let them sniff and have a quick contact. Let your home pet explore them in a safe, open, and spacious location first. The sniffing and becoming familiar outside the home could allow them to have their first contact and put them at ease.
Give Personal Space and Individual Attention
Just like we need our personal space, we must respect pets’ need for their personal space.
There can be a case where one among your pets is a loner who stays quiet and doesn’t bond much. Contrary to this behavior, there can be some pets who are aggressively trying to control others. Hence you can consider creating some partitions or giving them different corners with a distance allowing equal spaces.
You can also pay personal attention by appropriately placing their favorite toys for teething, beautiful food containers, pillows, beds, and nighttime toys. Also, it could be an exciting prospect for you to consider giving character to such areas by hanging unique wall art with animals, that can add life to the walls.
This cozy area with toys, sleeping essentials, and cute decor would not only stimulate you but make your pets feel equally loved and enjoy their personal space. Spend some time with each one individually so they never feel left out.
Introduce Each Other’s Scents Indirectly
It’s observed that two pets get along well if they start early. Anyway, if that’s not the case, there are other tips. One great idea is to swap each other’s scents. Help both the dogs to get attuned to each other’s scents via blankets, toys, etc. Also, you can practice this for cats, and other pets as well. The familiar smell will let them connect and get accustomed to each other.
In case of multiple dogs in your place, take the role of the pack leader. It’s the natural tendency of the dogs to be in a pack, and they follow their leader. If you fail to perform this role, the dominant dogs may try to control the submissive or quieter dogs. Thus, be the pack leader earning their respect, and avoid fierce fights, and even injuries.
Tip: if you’re adopting a new dog, study the traits carefully. Dogs with similar traits may get along well with each other.
Never Allow to be Biased (highly unlikely for a vegan)
Pets are one of the most lovable beings, where you get to experience their affection unconditionally. During the introduction and regular meet-ups, treat them wholeheartedly and give attention to both the pets.
Give them individual love, applaud them when commands are followed, and never let one feel sidelined. Always offer equal love and care to both.
Pets have a great range of emotions and be considerate while loving your extended family, which we believe quite natural for vegans.
The majority of dogs have an inborn tendency to go after small animals. Therefore, it’s wise to train your dog or other pets well before bringing another small new dog or cat. Bonding with a cat will require a lot of patience.
So, it seems sensible to train your pets to follow a few commands like sit, stand, spot, and a word that means “to stop.” If your pets follow such commands, they may not be a threat to other pets.
Tip: Treat your pets with their favorite food when they follow your commands and be gentle with other pets. It will foster good behavior and allow you to strengthen your bond with them!
Never Leave Them Alone
Be as responsible as you can, and don’t leave them alone together for a long period of time. You wouldn’t want to see a moment of heat resulting in injuries. So, please be mindful to dedicate some time to supervise their behavior.
Observe Your Pet’s Mood
You can detect aggressive or calm behavior in dogs or other pets from their gestures. If your home dog shows signs of teeth-baring, staring, stiff tail, forward ears, or growling, just delay the introduction of a new pet for now.
In the case of cats, having a stance where the rear end is raised and the back sloped downward, showing signs of staring, constricted pupils, forward upright ears, piloerection, scratching, exposed teeth & claws, growling, or yowling, can mean aggressive behavior!
Also, with dogs, tail wagging, relaxed tongue, snout licks, soft eyes with relaxed lids, rolling over the back, lowered tail, and yawning are all calm & friendly signs. For cats, an upright tail, soft eyes, slow blinking, rubbing their heads and cheeks against you, rolling onto their back, and a hop-up could mean their calm and affectionate.
You can make out a lot from these signs and bring the other pet home when you’re confident that the atmosphere is calm & welcoming.
Give Your Cat Sufficient Time
Since a cat is a smaller animal compared to a dog, it’s quite natural for them to be scared of dogs initially.
A cat will take some time to adapt and feel comfortable. In case the cat feels threatened, you may create a separate zone that is inaccessible to the dog/s.
If during initial encounters the cat runs away, no need to panic! You don’t have to force the cat to bond with the dog instantly. Make sure to keep the dog away from the cat’s litter box. Patience is key, and if you follow the tips we’ve given above, hopefully, they should get along well with time.
You being an animal lover try to know the traits of your adopted pets and do your best to create a bonding between the pets.
You have to put yourself in their context and then assess the situation. Be smart & caring when adopting them to create a beautiful family.
Patience, care, and timely observation will make them feel equally loved, belonged, and protected. So, try all the tips we’ve mentioned above and have a paw-some time!
Image credit: “senior cat and dog hold paws” by rikkis_refuge CC BY 2.0