If you have multiple pets in your home, you might feel like you are constantly breaking up fights. Especially when it comes to cats and dogs, it is important to quell aggressive behaviors and find a way for your pets to coexist in your home. Aggression can lead to longstanding anxiety which can cause health problems with pets. Here are four factors that might be causing pet aggression and how to troubleshoot.
1. Separate and Start Slow
The best time to quell aggression between dogs and cat is at the beginning of their life together. Keep your pets separate at first, with your new pet in a confined space so that they can get used to smells and sounds. Over time, you can begin supervised interactions and even some playtime if your pets are up for it. The important thing is to not rush the process so that your pets don't get stressed.
2. Check for Other Health Issues
If you are having trouble getting your pets to give up the fight and get along, be sure to involve your vet to ensure there aren't other health issues. The first thing your vet might recommend is to have your pets spayed or neutered. One of your pets may have an illness or pain that is causing aggression or anger that can be dealt with once diagnosed.
3. Calming Medications and Supplements
Sometimes aggression might just be coming from overly anxious or nervous pets. Talk to your vet about prescription medications or supplements that can help calm down both dogs and cats. Pheromone sprays, calming chews, and even anxiety medications can be recommended by your vet. These might not be needed forever, but can help pets start to get along and get used to one another.
4. Hideouts for Pets Getting the Brunt of Aggression
Sometimes cats can feel cornered by dogs or your dog might be taking the brunt of your cat's claws. Making sure your cat has high places in the home to retreat to can give them a time out. Similarly, if your dog can have their own space such as an open crate or yard they can get away to, they can relax in peace. Giving all pets a place they can regroup can help lower overall anxiety and hopefully phase out fighting overall.
It is important to try your best to ensure that all of your pets feel confident and relaxed in their home. While there might always be disputes between your dog and cat, anything that you can do to keep the peace on a day-to-day basis, the better. Check in with your vet if you are still having trouble keeping the peace in your home.