How to Get Your Pets to Live Together Peacefully
By sydney Hope, eHow Member
I've had multiple pets in my household for the last 20 years. I always said it was because my parents only allowed one pet at a time when I was growing up (so take heed parents or you'll end up with someone like me... many pets!).
I've had and still have multiple cats, dogs, rabbits, rats, birds, guinea pigs and fish all under the same roof, and I have a small house! This is one of the side effects of volunteering in a shelter.
My biggest piece of advice that I give to others is that the animals in my house either get along, or they get along... they dont have a choice. But seriously I truly do believe that if you dont make a big deal about it, and lavish extra attention on the animals that were already there instead of the new one that just came in (of course you can lavish on them when the old timers aren't looking.) Paying extra attention to the old timers will show them that you dont love them any less just because a newcomer has come aboard, and it might help to keep the jealousy at bay. I know I would be jealous if a new cute thing came into my household and I got less attention.
Introducing a new pet to the household is something that should be thought out before actually doing it. The procedure I usually do is to let my dogs outside in the backyard when I'm first bringing a new creature in. That way the new one doesnt get overwhelmed by all those noses checking them out. Then once they've had a chance to check the living room out, if its a cat I will leave it in the carrier that I brought it home in and stick them in another room, but keep a gate across the doorway so that my guys can check them out from a safe distance at first, then I'll slowly introduce them when I feel they're all ready. Unfortunately with dogs I dont always have that luxury of introducing them that way so with dogs I will just let one dog in from the backyard at a time and see how they both react (the newcomer and one of my dogs) and then I'll bring the next one in when I feel comfortable with how thats going. My dogs have a tendancy to surround what ever new is coming in the house and of course their noses are going crazy. That can be a little overwhelming for the newcomer.
I always make sure that my animals know that I am the dominant one in the house, that I am the head of the pack, occasionally I have to remind them, by perhaps not allowing them to jump on the bed (my bed!), or keeping them out of certain rooms or off my favorite couch. that way they know that I am in control and since they are like little kids they like to see how far they can go.
The rewards of having multiple pets is like a household of children... something is always going on, which to me is a good thing.
And you know you've helped another creature have a happy home and kept it out of a shelter. The most important part of this article though is to make sure you spay and neuter your pet, that helps to keep down aggression and there are already enough unwanted pets in this world to go around without bringing more into it.