We’ve seen videos of different species of pets living together in perfect harmony. Though it’s not impossible to achieve, paw-rents should always exercise caution to ensure a comfortable and safe living situation for all. When introducing pets of two different species together, ensure that a proper introduction is done. According to Dr Kenneth Tong of Animal & Avian Veterinary Clinic, extreme prudence is required during the introduction phase of different species in order to prevent or minimise the chances of injury.
Maureen Tay, chief trainer at KasPup UniFURsity, recommends placing the newcomer at a separate area from the current pet. “Having left his old home, the journey to the new house, and the scent of the new place is very stressful to the new pet,” she says. “Let him settle down for the day. Any interactions with the existing pet should be done through a barrier.” She also encourages teaching some impulse control exercises to pooches, as many of them tend to push their snouts onto newcomers for a sniff and might scare them off. However, there is no need to rush the introduction for existing kitties as they familiarise themselves mostly through scents, and will do so at their own time.
Being a paw-rent to different kinds of furkids can be a joy, but the most important thing is ensuring the health and safety of all. “The saliva or body excretions of certain animals is toxic to some species, and cross infection of species is also possible,” warns Dr Tong. He advises proper hygiene and diet to prevent diseases like salmonella or Chlamydia psittacosis from spreading. With the right amount of patience and management, you’ll be able to enjoy the best of both worlds in no time.