Pets are great. Their unconditional love and companionship chase away feelings of loneliness and sadness. Often, they can even sense your emotional state and do their best to showcase that you are not alone. Playing with them is also therapeutic, encouraging physical activity, and relieving pent-up stress. According to the survey done by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), around 74% of their respondents claimed improvements to their mental health because of their furry companions.
For those looking to get a pet to liven up their homes, there is a dilemma present. What pet will they choose? Is a cat preferable because they’re more aloof, and they can clean after themselves? Or is a dog more fun due to their playful and clingy nature? Maybe, one is better suited to get a pet that can fit in a cage like a hamster or a rabbit? However, if you are torn with the decision, you can always get them all, especially if you want both a dog and a cat.
Contrary to popular belief and media stereotypes, cats and dogs can coexist peacefully in one house. Sometimes, the best of friends with the right environment and upbringing. YouTube channel MilkyBokiTan perfectly shows how their dog and two cats get along without fuss and fights. They even play with each other and snuggle in the same spots. Here are some tricks you can use to build the same relationship:
Personality is key
Like humans, dogs and cats also have their quirks and personalities, which can affect how they will treat each other. Energy levels need to be considered, as well. For example, an aggressive and high-spirited dog would not gel with a skittish and paranoid cat. It is better to pair that dog with a calmer and more self-assured cat. The breed of the pet is usually a predictive factor on personality types and compatibility. You can check out this guide on the 15 best cat-friendly dog breeds.
Don’t rush the first introduction
The first introduction is the most crucial part of building a good rapport between dogs and cats. It should be planned carefully and done in the best environment. For the first week, your dog and cat must stay separate and must be introduced by sound or smell only. That will help both animals get used to the presence of each other. Exchanging blankets and toys can help them acclimate faster, making their scents familiar to their noses.
Then, you can start the visual introductions, first with a chain fence or transparent wall between them, which you can remove until they feel more settled and curious about their new friend. If you’re nervous about getting their first meeting right, you can always seek professional services. If it’s reasonable to hire experts, like tree trimmers and landscapers, to ensure a harmonious and well-balanced garden, what more for living beings?
Exercise and train your dog often
Dogs will always have more energy than cats. Taking the time to exercise and play with them will release that energy, so they will not use it to chase the cat around the living room. Dog trainer and author Pat Miller recommends off-leash games like fetch, tug of war, and play dates with other dogs to tire your dog out. If being outside is not feasible, she also advises mental exercises such as asking your dog to imitate your actions, leaving puzzle toys around, and teaching them a few tricks. The tired-out dog will be much calmer in interacting with your cat, creating a peaceful environment.
It is a myth that dogs and cats are enemies. They can be best friends when pet owners take personalities into account, plan the first introduction carefully, and exercise their dog often.