How to help your cat and dog get along

Time to read: 3 mins

With Valentine’s Day approaching, love might be in the air, but sometimes our pets need a little helping hand to get along.

Whether you are introducing a new cat or a new dog to an already established pet or just want your pets to get along, always allow plenty of time. The key is not to try and rush introductions.

A new pet may need a few days to become accustomed to their new environment and routine. Keeping pets safe during this settling in period will help with confidence and routine. Sharing and swapping of blankets helps transfer scents as pets become accustomed to one another.

So how else can we help our cats and dogs get along?

  • Supervise any new interactions. Time these for when pets are relaxed and in a safe supervised environment.
  • Swap scents – Try passing scents by stroking your cat then allowing your dog to smell your hand or switch and share blankets.
  • Create safe areas where the cat or dog can retreat if needed. Over time will define each other’s areas as both cats and dogs like their own space.
  • Keep it positive – help reinforce the positives in good interactions and avoid telling pets off and creating a negative association.
  • Use a baby gate as an option to encourage contact in a safe environment. Provides a safe barrier between pets but allows contact and an option to interact or retreat.
  • Keep any food or toys separate.
  • Take your time and never force interactions.

Both dogs and cats are naturally very different, yet many households demonstrate how well cats and dogs can get along. Who knows, they may even become best of friends! Just like us our pets need time to build relationships and get to know each other. Giving them space and time to do this in a safe and supervised environment should help pets to get along.

If you would like any more information on this or any other pet health related queries, our team of Registered Veterinary Nurses is here to help:

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