The More, the Merrier?

By Pet Food Institute

Pet lovers live by the philosophy, “the more, the merrier” but is this always true?

With Philippines being one of the dog capital countries of the world, owning more than five (5) dogs is not unusual. But with the number of pets in line to be fed and nurtured, this level of fun and excitement starts to take a toll on the owner. More often than not, pets have a hard time getting along, especially when a new one comes into the picture. If not addressed properly, it may cause several problems such as brawls which may then lead to serious injuries.

The Pet Food Institute (PFI), dedicated to its commitment to educate the Filipino pet community on responsible pet ownership, shares three tips to help pets get along.

The More, the Merrier?
Mommy Summer and daughters Shakti (middle) and Louise (right) play together.  But they are supervised during play time as Louise and Shakti tend to be envious of each other when playing time with their mom.
Tip 1: Introductions are a must!

Introducing pets to each other can be physically and emotionally draining to the pets and the owner. Naturally, pets feel threatened when an unknown animal enters their territory.

This is where introductions come in. Much like humans, pets need to be introduced to one another to get them accustomed to each other’s presence.

Experts remind owners that there are two key components to a proper introduction, first it must be done at a neutral zone and second, owners must never rush this process.

Pets, by nature, are territorial hence they immediately assume that newbies are intruders. Therefore, introductions must be done in a neutral area, such as the park, where neither pet feel the need to protect their area. If these places are inaccessible, owners must ensure that they have control over their pets to avoid brawls.

It is also important to separate pets during the first few days or weeks of cohabitation to make the newcomer feel safe in their new environment.

Pacing is an important aspect of introductions as well. Owners must never rush this process and should be patient as their furry pals slowly get accustomed to their new environment and companions. To make this process easier on both pets, veterinarians suggest several methods like scent-swapping or introducing scents to each pet to familiarize themselves with their new playmate.

The More, the Merrier?
Batchi and Shakti (smiling) always want cuddle time with their human, Tani Benedito.
Tip 2: Equality for all!

Having multiple pets under one roof can be a fun and entertaining experience.

However, it requires a lot from the owner to ensure they spend time with each of their pets. Quality time is necessary to build a strong bond between owner and pet. Working out together, exploring the great outdoors, playing together, and talking to one’s pets are perfect opportunities to spend quality time and form a bond with their furry pals.

Owners may choose which activity best suits each of their pets. For example, an active pet would love working out and exploring the great outdoors with its owner. Meanwhile, owners may opt to engage in simple play with their laid-back pet.

However, if an owner’s schedule does not permit this level of play, simple pats and handing pets their favorite treats are simple ways they can show their furry companions their affection.

Tip 3: Personal space please!

Most pet owners admit that having multiple pets in one household can be overwhelming and feels somewhat crowded, so it is advisable for owners to provide each pet their own space.

For owners who wish to have both a cat and a dog inside their house, they must ensure that the feline has a private area to run to when it feels threatened.

Most issues among pets arise due the animal’s natural tendency to guard its food.

Owners are encouraged to separate  their pets’ food bowls to avoid conflicts between their pets.

About Pet Food Institute: PFI is committed to informing pet owners about pet nutrition and proper pet care to keep pets healthy and happy. Through its local initiative, Well-Fed, Well-Nurtured campaign in partnership with the Veterinary Practitioners Association of the Philippines (VPAP), PFI seeks to advocate responsible pet ownership to the ever-growing Filipino pet community.

Since 1958, the PFI has been the voice of the U.S. pet food industry. PFI is the industry's representative before Congress and state legislatures, as well as state and federal agencies; public education and media relations resource; organizer of seminars and educational programs; and liaison with other organizations.

Topics: Pet Food Institute , pet ownership , Veterinary Practitioners Association of the Philippines
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