How to Help Your Dog Get Along With Other Pets

If you live in a multi-pet household, you may have noticed conflicts amongst your pets. It makes little difference whether the dispute is between dogs or between dogs and other animals such as cats or rabbits; if a problem arises, you will most likely want to settle it as soon as possible. In an interspecies dispute, the dog is normally the aggressor, although in a dog-to-dog confrontation, the bigger dog is usually on top, however Great Danes have also been bullied by Chihuahuas.

Pet compatibility issues might also develop if you currently have one dog and then add another to the family. Dogs form close bonds with their owners, and having another pet can frequently cause jealously. Jealousy between dogs may be as intense as it is between children.

If you currently have one dog and are thinking about getting another, it is preferable to introduce them under controlled settings. Ideally, the introduction should take place with both dogs on a leash and some distance apart. Talking to the dogs while gradually going closer and expressing praise will help the dogs grow more comfortable with one another.


A separate room for the new dog is another viable option. The door should be kept closed for a few days to allow the dogs to become accustomed to each other's odor before gradually opening, but with a dog gate in place. Conflicts are most likely to occur amongst dogs of the same sex since they are all competing to be the alpha dog. A male and female pairing will function better since they will both be 'alphas,' reducing the need for competition.

However, never assume that just because two dogs were brought together as puppies that they will always be friends. While it is more likely that same-sex dogs will get along as they develop, growing up together does not ensure that it will always work out. Primrose and Iris came in the same box at the same age and grew up to hardly tolerate each other.

In fact, every now and again, they'd merely look each other in the eyes and the battle would begin. Fortunately for them and us, their bouts were more about noise than harm, and we were able to break them up quickly. It worked okay for us in part because the dogs are little and simple to separate; it would be much more difficult if the dogs were enormous.

It is not uncommon for a home to have both dogs and cats, and the combination is often beneficial. While dogs and cats are not literally 'natural adversaries,' friendship or tolerance is typically necessary. It is usually ideal if you have both animals while they are still young - puppies and kittens are considerably more likely to get along if introduced while they are still in their formative phases.

Keep in mind that some dogs' prey drive, particularly hunting dogs, might make them more inclined to regard the cat as something to chase and kill. Although, once again, introducing the pets when they are young can assist to limit this effect, be mindful that the dog may revert to instinct in times of stress.

Even though it may seem counterintuitive, it is typically preferable to bring a cat into a home where there is already a dog rather than the other way around. The reason for this is that the cat will already regard itself as the lord or lady of the manor, and will rarely regard the dog as anything other than a 'underling.' A home with a dog provides the cat the opportunity to regard the dog as an equal, increasing the likelihood of their becoming buddies.


If you introduce a cat into a home where there is already a dog, you must safeguard the cat until a bond is built. Keeping the cat in a different room will assist to reduce the cat's fear of the dog and allow the dog to become accustomed to the cat. Positive reinforcement should be used to promote collaboration, and introductions should always be conducted with the dog on a leash - both cats and dogs will respond to it.

Dogs' natural prey includes small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters. These little pets are unlikely to engage with a dog, even if it has no intention of harming them, but they should always be kept secure when the dog is there. Pets should never be left alone with the dog; a powerful dog may easily break into a cage if it so desires. You can probably educate almost any dog not to attack a tiny pet, but never expect the training to be completely infallible.