Dogs and cats living together doesn’t have to be a sign of the end of the world. In fact, dogs and cats can peacefully co-exist under the same roof; they can even become close friends. So, whether you’re introducing a feline or a canine into your home, here’s how you can get them to get along:
Check their background
Before you bring your new dog or cat home, you should first check to make sure that your new pet and current pet can tolerate each other. If you adopt a new cat who is scared of dogs, for instance, you will never be able to make your pets get along. You may even run the risk of somebody getting hurt. Most adoption places will tell you if a cat or dog can’t be in a home with a particular species. Additionally, you can introduce your current pet to other dogs or cats to see how they react.
Keep them separate
When it’s time to bring home your new pet, introduce your two pets carefully. Keep them in separate rooms with a tall baby gate between them. That way they can see and smell each other, but you won’t run the risk of anyone getting hurt. Keep them separated like this for the next few days. If they remain calm, even disinterested with one another, then you can take the gate down. Just make sure your dog is on a leash the first time you do so.
If you’re still having trouble getting your dog and cat to get along, then the next step is to start training them using positive reinforcement. Reward your pets with treats when they’re calm and nice to one another. Over time, they will associate this behavior with food and praise, meaning they’ll be more likely to tolerate each other.