No owner should ever have to choose between the two loves of their life, especially if you are equally a dog lover and a cat lover. If you are struggling to get your little angels to feel the love as much as you do, don’t panic, there are some things that you can try to help the situation.
As much as you may hope and dream that your pets will play along with happy families, it’s not something you can make happen. Boundaries are super important to remember; both your cat and your dog will have limits and levels of attention that they will and won’t like.
Take time to understand what upsets both your pets and what they like; this way, you know when to get involved if your furry friends have a fallout or when to provide a tempting incentive.
You may also find some tips here: How to Introduce a New Dog to Your Pack
Search for ‘Remedies’
You can find multiple items online that claim to help lower stress and anxiety in animals. There are all sorts of sprays and medicinal options that may or may not work. If in doubt, always consult a vet and see what they would recommend if stress seems to be present when trying to bond your pets.
Note that all animals are different and that there is no guarantee that an item will help your pet anxieties. Sometimes the best you can do is just to be supportive and persistent in familiarising them with their new lifestyle.
Go Back to Training
If you notice that your dog and cat won’t behave and are also fighting and toileting in all the wrong places, it may be time to consider some training sessions.
Cats can defecate on your carpet and other areas which are not the litter box if they are not happy. Cats can become destructive, so it’s worth watching for the signs and addressing them as they happen.
As for dogs, they can sometimes get a little bit too excited and start jumping before a cat has the chance to say hello; it can be very stressful. It may be worth ensuring that your dog responds to commands, especially ones that keep him sitting and waiting while Mittens has a chance to sniff and make the first move.
Don’t Force it
At the end of the day, you can’t force two people to like each other, let alone two animals who have been rivalled against each other for years.
Over time, the bond between your babies may grow, but if it does not, there are other options. Just make sure not to spend time playing favourites, share the love, and it will be returned.
You may find this helpful: How to Improve the Bond Between You and Your Dog
Keep Everyone Comfortable
Approaching the situation with confidence will certainly help you, but you need to make sure that everyone else involved is comfortable too. If the cat is hiding behind the fridge, or the dog is running around in circles, and you feel like you are in a circus, it might be time to call it a day.
It may help if you pull out some familiar items, such as toys or even a few treats, as an incentive. Make sure the environment you are in is suitable for your dog and cats needs, and try to make the place as friendly as possible. Remember, this is not a standoff; it’s supposed to be a friendly standing ground.
Both cats and dogs are territorial, and as much as you like a space to call your own, so do your furry friends. Privacy is important to ensure that there is always somewhere safe for your pets to go when they are stressed.
If you want your pets to bond, they need to be as happy as possible in the environment that they do have. If they are upset before they have spent time with their furry foe, it won’t create a good start to the situation.
The main bit of advice here is to be gentle and considerate with your beloved animals and focus on what they need more than what you want.