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Tips to keep the peace in your multi-pet household
While you may love all of your furry friends equally, if your household includes both cats and dogs, chances are they don't feel the same about each other. If you're feeling the tension in your home, here are some tips to help you keep the peace:
Make a great first impression. The saying "you never get a second chance to make a first impression" applies to your pets as well. When the time comes to introduce your pets for the first time, go slowly and let the animals look at one another before allowing them to get closer. Make sure to keep initial interactions brief and supervised.
Keep food areas separate. While you are encouraging interaction, important items such as food dishes and beds should be kept separate. Remember, you want your pets to grow to like one another and forced interaction will slow the process.
Provide a safe haven. While it's important to keep the food dishes separated, it's also a good idea to make sure your pets – especially cats – have a place of refuge where they can avoid interaction with their new roommates if they need to. For dogs this could be the backyard and for cats this could be a cat tree or some other elevated space. You want to make sure your pet does not feel trapped because this could lead to a negative reaction.
Be their biggest fan. Remember that your pets' initial interactions with one another will be stressful periods for both of them. You can help alleviate that stress by providing positive verbal and physical encouragement to both pets.
Provide rewards. One of the easiest ways to ensure your pets' interaction is enjoyable is to provide treats to each of them during scheduled interaction times. If you're looking for a healthy alternative to conventional treats, Wysong's Dream Treats™ are available for cats and dogs.