A multiple-dog household may seem to be bliss… but there can be compatibility issues between them. Here’s how to have peace and harmony in a multiple-dog household.
Dogs are pack animals, so we usually think that it’ll be easy for them to live with other dogs. This isn’t always true. As a member of multiple dog household, we recommend you to keep your expectations low. Be realistic. There would be fights, tantrums but the happy times would certainly be overpowering.
Priyanka Sareen from Delhi is blessed to have three pets at home – Smoky (eleven years old GSD and Terrier mixed breed), Boozy (six years) and the latest addition to the family has been Scotchy (two months old). Boozy and Scotchy are Indian mixed breeds. “The good thing is that all of them have great understanding, so thankfully there have never been any conflicts or fights. Even though they are of varying breeds, compatibility has never been an issue,” said Priyanka.
Similar views were shared by Anisha Jaiswal from Jabalpur, who is a proud pet parent of a GSD – Max and a Pug – Audi Jr. “These two have been together since three years and have been the best of friends. Our only concern was that Max might accidently hurt Audi while playing, but thankfully it is all good,” said Anisha. “Even though the breeds are different, it is all about discipline and how well they bond with each other.”
So, if you are getting home a new pet, then give the first baby some time to adjust with the new member. Don’t expect miraculous results in just a couple of days. Let it go slow. Here’s how to maintain harmony at home…
- Space management: If you don’t have enough space, kindly don’t think of having multiple dogs at your place. Playing or resting, dogs need quite a lot of space. Thus, evaluate that space shouldn’t be a constraint for you and your pets. Optimising the available space as per the number of pets and their breeds is very important. The area should be a comfort zone for all your furry buddies.
- Compatibility issues: As a pet parent, you are the best judge of your pet’s temperament and behaviour. Would he be compatible with a new member, would he feel jealous or welcome the new baby with love and affection, you need to assess these questions before bringing home a new pet.
- Understand conflicts: Get to know the root cause of conflicts, whether it is divided attention that is creating fights or is it possessiveness or something else. Small changes would make way for bigger solutions.
- Make coming home a delight: It is always exciting to get home and greet your pet, but when you have a group of lovelies waiting to greet and lick and pounce upon you, then it might become a matter of concern. Greeting your pet at the door is very important. If you have more than one dog waiting to be greeted, make sure you don’t become a part of the chaos. Pet two of them simultaneously, while you keep talking to the third baby, and when those two settle, you could pet the third one properly.
- Different feeding time: Multiple dog homes have a golden rule, different feeding time for each baby. Make sure that feeding time is fixed and it is followed regularly. If Roxy is fed before Romeo, then this rule shouldn’t be broken. If possible, you can also feed your pets separately. Keep an eye on them to avoid any growling or snapping.
- Define walk time: Walking more than two dogs at a time can be dangerous and tedious. So chalk out an ideal plan that suits you and the pets.
- Resource management: Resources can be anything – toys, feeding bowls, coat, your time, access to special areas of the home, etc. As a pet parent, you have to be the leader and make them understand the boundaries. Reward them for good behaviour and set rules. Remember, Raisin’s tug of war is not for Simba, and Simba’s squeaky duck is not for Raisin.
- Spay/neuter your pets: Talk to your vet and get your pets neutered or sprayed. Hormones can become a major cause of fights, snapping and general irritability amongst multiple dog households.
- Let them all play: Involve all the pets in play time activities. If possible together or it can be done in installments as well.
- Dedicated one-on-one time: Play time or cuddle up sessions, walks or feeding – all your pets need your attention, affection and time. This would not only make them feel special, but would also keep issues at bay. Give them individual attention.
Whether it is one dog or multiple dogs, love binds them all. You have to spend quality time with your pets. And if you are lucky enough to be showered with the love of more than one pet, then divide your time and attention effectively so that none of them feels neglected. Managing a multiple dog household is truly an art, and a big salute to all those who are responsibly handling all their babies.