Having a bunch of pets in your home can be tons of fun. However, if you have a dog and other small animals, you may find it challenging. Dogs can naturally feel predatory towards small animals, and other animals may feel fearful of dogs. If you want all of your furry friends to live in peace and harmony, the following tips can help. By taking a few extra steps, you can ensure that your pets are happy, safe, and thriving around each other.
Start By Prohibiting Any Direct Access
Introduce your dog and your small furry pet so that they can get to know each other — but don’t allow them access to the same space. This can help both animals get familiar with one another while assuring the safety of both. Try introducing a small animal, like a pet rat, to a dog when it’s still in its cage. Over time, the dog can get used to the rat without treating it like prey. Once they’re used to the sounds, smells and the sight of each other, it’ll be less overwhelming when (or if) you let them into the same space.
Don’t Allow Unsupervised Time
No matter how much you trust your dog and your other little pet, it’s important that you don’t let them play together when you’re nowhere around. While your dog may never have had a bad or excited to a small animal before, there are events that can trigger an overwhelming reaction by a dog — like if a small animal gets spoofed and takes off running and a dog is impelled to chase after. If you’re around while your pets are playing, you can be there to intervene in case of any unexpected emergencies.
Ask Your Vet
Ask your vet about how to best handle both of your animals. You can do this via a phone call, or at a regular preventive checkup. Your vet will have helpful information about how to keep both animals healthy and happy, and what to do during the introduction phase to keep both safe.