You could probably say that you are living in a zoo because you have a lot of pets at home. You have cats in one corner sleeping in a cat scratching tree. In another corner, you have your pet birds. In one room, your canine buddies are trying to catch their tails. However, no matter how lively your home looks like, you also might be having a hard time keeping things in peace.
Living in a multi-species household myself, I could not imagine myself not interacting with my pets – hamsters, dogs, fish, and cats. And no, I don’t consider my home as a zoo, but I think there’s just a lot of work every single day.
Then again, I managed to keep things pretty calm and chill. Thanks to strict training, supervision, and daily routine. I am proud to say that I am able to keep peace in my house. All my pets coexist, of course, under my command and supervision. They are not the “super friends” you can imagine, but at least, they go along well with each other.
Although I consider my pets as family, I never forget the fact that they are still animals that have their own behaviours and instincts. So, before I do anything, I take into account their nature. Some are predators, others are preys. Basically, each species is just different.
Distinguish Predators and Preys
The canines are classified on the predator side. Though they don’t attack my other pets, if they weren’t trained, they would be seeing all other pets as food. They may not notice the fish, but I think, if they see an opportunity, they would feast on a sushi buffet.
But in my house, the fish stay in the aquarium and the dogs stay in their rooms. So, keeping them at peace is a no sweat job. But as for my smaller pets like birds, geckos, hamsters, and rats, my canine buddies could easily regard them as a snack.
Still, I don’t worry about my dogs devouring my smaller pets. That is because I choose to keep them separately. Also, it is my duty to keep them all safe.
One way to keep my pet dogs obedient is through training. Ever since I welcomed them at home, they never missed a day of training. It’s a tool I use to ensure they obey me. Thanks to training, my dogs stay calm and relaxed in the house.
Still, I think, when they find an opportunity, they would do what dogs do. They would chase around my smaller pets and chomp them.
Even so, I love my dogs and their animalistic instincts. I understand they can move faster than me, but I trust that they won’t touch my pet hamsters. They wouldn’t even attempt to hurt or injure a fly.
After training, I make it a point to just give them time to be dogs. I leave them outside to run around and play. I let them be the bouncy and playful creatures they are. If they see one of my pet birds as a potential playmate, then I leave them as is. I just enjoy seeing them jumping around the yard trying to chase and catch my pet birds.
At the end of the day, my dogs are all sweethearts. They are obedient and loveable. Because of training, they have shown a great behavioural difference.
There are times when my pets show their natural instincts. Preys that will run and squeal can quickly trigger my pets with predatory instincts. These preys include my little rat. He’s cute and awesome. He’s just doing great as a rat. Unfortunately, he has had little training so he will do whatever he wants to do. I cannot keep him from squealing, so I would not wonder why my pet dogs would be alerted and suddenly wanted to chase.
The key here is to think that your pets are still animals. You cannot keep them from doing what they’re supposed to do. A cat will purr. A dog will bark. Also, a rat will squeal. All this is natural. Just understand them and extend your patience. Spend time with all your pets and you’ll understand them better.
Every pet has its own way to communicate. While some are developed, others are not. And because their communication systems are unique to each species, other species might not be able to understand. As a matter of fact, allowing different species to play together might not end right. Worse, it can result in potential injuries, which you wouldn’t want to happen.
Overall, you just have to love and respect your pets’ instincts. Mixing them altogether might seem cute and fun, but think of the consequences. Respect your pets for what they are and they will give you the peace you need.
Do you have some tips on how to retain peace in a multi-species household? Let us know in the comments section!