5 Tips For A Harmonious Relationship Between Cats and Dogs In Your Household

Are you familiar with the phrase “fighting like cats and dogs”? Many people believe that cats and dogs aren’t made to co-exist in a single household. However, cats and dogs who live together doesn’t automatically mean that they are enemies. How they get along is shaped by how they are raised by their owners and their individual personalities. While some develop a good, harmonious relationship, some pairs simply ignore each other. If you want to improve the relationship between your canine and feline, here are some useful tips:

Start them young

If you’re planning to buy both of each animals, it’s ideal to introduce them to each other while the are a puppy and a kitten wherein they don’t have any previous “bad experiences” with the other kind. This makes living together easier as they will form a bond growing up, compared to adult cats and dogs. However, kittens are more fragile than puppies so it is important to always supervise their playtime as youngsters.

Introduce the new pet slowly

Introducing a dog in a household that already has a cat isn’t that easy as felines are not a fan of change and are territorial. It is important to stick to both pets’ own pace and forcing them to be together isn’t going to help. Spend quality time with each and when in the same room, assure each pet that they are both loved. During the first few meetings, your dog could get excited and aggressive even in play which may scare the cat, so it would be ideal to put him on a leash until both gets used to each other’s presence.

Have separate comfort zones

Cats are more “sensitive’ than dogs, so it is a must to have an area in the house where your feline can relax and have some alone time. This area, complete with food and water, a litter box and toys, should be off limits to the dog. It will serve as your feline’s comfort zone during this unfamiliar experience, whether the cat is the new arrival or the resident pet.

Have separate dining spots

Same with their comfort zones, canines and felines should have their own dining spots where they can eat in peace. Cats aren’t likely to want a dog’s food, but canines are usually attracted to cat food because of their higher fat and protein content. Dining together may cause a fight and a dog eating cat food may harm his health.

Don’t force friendship between the two

While it’s cute to hope that your cat and dog could be best friends, keep in mind that each kind is different. If they develop an inseparable bond then great! But if they just learn to get along with no animosity, then that’s good, too.

You can only provide a good, loving atmosphere for the two but in the end, it depends on the two pets how their relationship will turn out.

Puppy in the House

Getting a new puppy

With a new puppy, Cesar Millan recommends letting the puppy know who the owner is from the very beginning; he advises against spoiling the puppy and letting it take charge. Visiting the vet early on is another recommendation. This gets the puppy used to visiting the vet and helps rule out any health conditions that might be an issue later on. Housebreaking early is very important to prevent bad habits altogether. Regular exercise, walking and play time are crucial for a learning puppy.

For housebreaking, Cesar Millan encourages setting up a routine right away. The dog needs to know the approximate eating times and potty times throughout the day. Set a routine for going for walks around the same time every day.

Feeding schedules should also be part of the routine. Food should be set out at the same time every day and not be left out for grazing. Take the puppy out to potty several minutes after it finishes eating to let the puppy relieve itself.

Safety

As with babies, your new puppy must be kept free from materials that could hurt him/her. Make sure your cabinets are secure and do not leave harmful materials around. Your puppy is learning and testing his boundaries. Make sure all caustic materials are in a secure location. Puppies, just like babies, put everything in their mouths. Try to tie up all extension cords and teach your puppy to leave them alone. Scour your home for anything a curious puppy would investigate. Make sure trash containers are unavailable to curious pets and walk any leftover food to the garbage outside or use a disposal. Lots of human food can make your pet sick or worse so learn these foods and be sure to keep them away from our pets. I do not believe in feeding human food to a dog but many people do. Just make sure the food is safe for your dog to eat.

Discipline

Never hit a puppy or any animal for that matter. There are a myriad of ways to discipline your puppy other than hitting him. You do not want a dog that is afraid of you and trembles when you come near. You want a happy, loving pet who will love you unconditionally throughout the many years you will be together. I always used the word “No” when my puppy was doing something that could hurt him or something I did not want him to do. They will understand the meaning of “No” almost immediately. Like a baby, when your puppy is doing something that is harmful simply remove them from the attraction and get them involved in something else.

Learning and growing

Puppies need playtime to help develop muscles and strength. Encourage your puppy to play but do not allow them to bite you. They need to know right away this is unacceptable. There are innumerable chew toys for them to satisfy their need for biting and chewing. Playtime was always a wonderful experience for both me and my dogs. I would take them outside and throw the ball for them to run and fetch. Watch them carefully as you need to be the one who knows when they are getting tired. Be sure to offer water for them after playtime and a quiet place for them to rest. I suggest getting them a bed where they can go whenever they want to rest. It is their space and they will soon learn it is a relaxing place for them.

Rules

It is your home and you set the rules. If it is OK with you to allow your puppy on the furniture, that is fine. Please consider them as an adult. A German Shepard is a really cute puppy and allowing them to get on the sofa with you is understandable. Once he has reached maturity, you will find it next to impossible to share the sofa with an adult German Shepard. He will take up most of the room! However a smaller dog will not take as much room as an adult. Please think about the consequences before you allow your puppy to do certain things as once a behavior is learned it is hard to get them to stop and do things differently..

If your yard is fenced in you can leave the puppy or adult dog to enjoy the run of the yard. Remember to watch them carefully if it is very hot. They can get dehydrated easily in hot weather. If you choose to walk your pet please remember to keep them safe and comfortable. I suggest buying doggie shoes if you will be walking them on a very hot day on asphalt or cement or even sand. Temperatures on these places can soar high enough to burn the pads on our pet’s feet. Keep them on a leash and I prefer a harness. Remember to carry plastic bags and pick up anything your dog leaves on a beach, or on a sidewalk or on a neighbor’s grass.

Your dog will give you years of love and attention. They are wonderful companions and surely are members of our families.