Encourage Dogs and Cats to Live in Harmony
by Annett Bennet, Animal Behaviorist
Sharing your home and your life with animal companions is great for so many reasons.
Animals can be very loving and affectionate, and spending time with them can be a wonderful way to boost mental health and lower stress levels.
Although spending time with animals can be fantastic, this might not be the case if you have a dog and a cat that do not get along.
Dogs and Cats
Dogs and cats can live together in harmony, but this is not always something that happens right away. You may find that this is especially the case if you already have a dog and then you introduce a cat into the home, or vice-versa.
Both dogs and cats can be quite territorial animals. They may often feel defensive of their home and of their relationship with you.
If your dog and your cat do not get along, then this can lead to physical altercations between the animals.
If either of your pets were to become injured during a fight it is important that you seek medical attention from a vet as soon as possible.
Encouraging Positive Behaviors in dogs and cats
If you currently have a dog and a cat at home who do not get along, then it is important that you take steps to encourage a positive relationship between the two. This is for your benefit, as well as ensuring your pets have a stress-free life in the home.
Training your dog to learn impulse control is a good place to start. This is an action you can take by yourself or with the help of a professional dog trainer. If you are going to do this yourself, then be sure to look up effective methods online.
Create Separate Spaces
When each animal has its own personal space within the home, then it is less likely that problems are going to arise.
This could be in two entirely separate rooms or two separate spaces within the same room. Put a bed for each animal in their individual space and give each animal extra treats and attention when they are in this space.
When each animal learns to spend time in their allocated area, then they are less likely to clash with each other. They will start to understand that this area is a safe space to relax.
As cats love to climb and explore, it can be a good idea to create a space for your cat that is out of reach of your dog. This also means that your cat is able to safely get away from the dog if the dog decides to chase it.
Exercise Your Dog Adequately
Dogs need a great deal of physical and mental stimulation to avoid boredom. It is when they become bored that they are more likely to seek out their own fun, and this could, unfortunately, be at your cat’s expense.
Be sure to take your dog out for at least one long walk every day, but preferably for multiple walks. If you do not have the time to do this yourself, then encourage family members to get involved and also consider hiring a dog walker.
When your dog and your cat start to develop a positive relationship, then this can make for a more pleasant home life for everyone!