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Helping Your Dog and Cat Get Along

Dogs and cats have had a long and somewhat rocky relationship. There are definitely cases where Fido and Fluffy become best buds, and snuggle up together for naps. This has certainly made for some adorable photos! It’s also super cute to see a gentle, patient pooch calmly letting a kitten pounce on his tail. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes cats and dogs fight, like, well, cats and dogs. In this article, a local Livonia, MI vet offers tips on helping Fido and Fluffy make friends.

Choosing The Right Pets

Some dogs are more cat-friendly than others are. For instance, retrievers and boxers tend to be very friendly and sociable with kitties. Some dogs, however, have a strong prey drive, and may instinctively try to chase your cat. Do some research before adopting a second pet. Of course, sometimes the cat is the bully of the two, but this typically isn’t quite as dangerous.

Introductions

First impressions are a very big deal to our furry pals. Introduce your pets gradually. At first, keep them separated, and let them get used to each other’s smells. When they seem to have accepted one another’s presence, introduce them under careful supervision. Choose a time when both pets are relaxed, and keep Fido leashed. You may want to hold your kitty, and pet her gently.

Training

Make sure that your canine buddy knows—and obeys—simple commands like Sit, Stay, Heel, Come, and Lay Down. This is very important!

Hiding Places

Make sure that your cat has a safe retreat in every room, whether it’s a kitty condo, cat tower, or a place under the couch or behind a bookcase,. That way, Fluffy can always get away from Fido if she needs to.

Avoid Punishment

Never punish your pets for fighting. This could backfire, and cause even more tension. Just separate your furry friends. If Fluffy and Fido won’t stop fighting, ask your vet or a professional behaviorist for advice.

Playtime

Take time to play with your pets daily. This will help them burn off any excess energy. Afterwards, they will be calmer, and hopefully more interested in napping than in chasing each other around.

Don’t Play Favorites

Give your pets equal attention. Our animal companions can be quite jealous!

Please feel free to contact us, your Livonia, MI animal clinic, anytime. We’re here for you!

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