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The Multi Pet Household.

For many animal lovers one pet is not enough. Households often have an assortment of pets including cats, dogs, gerbils, guinea pigs, fish, birds and more. It is always wise to recognize a new pet’s needs and plan accordingly prior to adoption. Yet there is even more to consider when adopting multiple pets or bringing a new pet into home that already has animals. One important aspect, typically recognized by most pet owners, is that all the animals need to get along. Taking care in introducing pets and being aware of potential conflicts will help reduce tensions between newly acquainted animals. Pets can vary greatly in their ability to get along with one another. Some dogs are great with cats, others shouldn’t be around cats at all. Some cats love other animals, and others don’t. Be aware that while there are a few cats that get along with small animals such as gerbils or birds, this is always a risky combination as most cats have strong hunting instincts. Even if they’ve shown no sign of aggression this doesn’t mean that a small animal will continue to be safe. Keeping cats and small animals safely separated is wise.

Space is the next consideration. Different pets require different amounts of room to exercise and rest and relax comfortably. In multiple pet homes some pets, particularly cats that share space with a dog, may need some extra room to themselves. This is also common with older pets that may need some quiet time away from eager and excitable younger animals, as well as sensitive or high strung pets that also benefit from some alone space. Also if there is a conflict between pets it is typically easier to manage if each has their own separate area. Finally most pets will need their space when they eat. A common conflict is when a pet’s food is threatened particularly for dogs. This isn’t always a problem, but it is wise to keep feeding areas separate until one knows their pets reaction, and is particularly important if one animal is markedly smaller or weaker than another. In homes around the country a variety of pets live together happily. Some special consideration for each pet’s needs can help facilitate this peaceful friendly situation.




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