Did you know that your PETS needs a BEST FRIEND? Well they do! Take a look at these 2 don’t they remind you of you and your best friend?… I know they do of mine in one of our goofy moments together 🙂
Just like us, dogs & cats are social animals, (some more than others) and many enjoy spending time with each other. If your dog or cat is a social butterfly who seems happy—rather than afraid or aggressive hanging around or playing with other animals, it’s a great idea to give them regular opportunities to romp with their animal buddies.
Playing with other pets helps keep your pets animal communication skills polished, wears them out mentally, tires them physically and it’s a lot of fun!
So how should you choose your pets playmates? Where can you find them? How do you know when your pet is having fun playing with another animal and how can you tell if she’s or he is not feeling it?
First things first… PLEASE make sure your pet really wants a buddy and it’s not just you wanting them to want one.
It’s wonderful to watch two pets running around together, wrestling and chasing each other, but not all pets enjoy playing with members of their own species. Some might fear or dislike other animals because they didn’t get enough opportunities to meet and play with them during puppyhood & kittyhood.
Some pets who enjoyed playing with other animal companions as puppies or kitties would rather relax by themselves as older adults. Some pets simply seem to prefer the company of humans and that’s TOTALLY GREAT!
Before you try to find friends for your dog or cat, make sure he/she truly seems to want playmates. Take them on walks or introduce them to another animal and notice their body language when she/he sees or meets other animals. If they’d like to interact with another animal, she/he might whine, meow or bark with excitement, bounce around and play.
If it’s a dog they will bow (lower her front end while keeping her rear in the air), wag, paw at the other dog, lick the other dog’s muzzle, circle and sniff the other dog, or roll over on the ground. If it’s a cat they will rub up against one another or groom each other and talk in soft meows instead of hissing or growling.
If they’d rather not interact, they might try to avoid the other animal, become stiff and tense-looking, stare at the other animal, show Their teeth, growl, hiss, snap, cower, tremble or try to hide behind you, or run away. Don’t force them to interact if you see any of this, we don’t want to be a bully with our pets.
Sometimes this is an indication to start slowly socializing your pet… but if they really don’t want to that’s fine it may not be that necessary for them, you may be enough for their social interaction.
You can arrange “play dates” at your home( Remember providing this is one of my specialties :). You can also look for playmates while on walks in public places. If you and your dog frequent a local park, for example, you’ll likely see other dogs and their pet parents on a regular basis. If your dog repeatedly meets and likes another dog, consider arranging some off-leash play in a safe, enclosed area.
When possible always execute the foundational rules of pet match making. It’s a good idea to pair opposite-sexed dogs as playmates. Some female dogs don’t get along well with other adult females, especially if they’re close in age. Likewise, sometimes male dogs are more likely to clash with other males.
However, there are certainly exceptions to this rule. Same-sexed pets can often make wonderful friends. When you’re introducing your pet to potential playmates, just keep in mind that when two pets of the same sex interact, fighting can be more likely to occur than not.
Also many animals learn to play gently with smaller or more delicate friends. However, it’s best to seek similar-sized, similarly built playmates for your pet.
Although it’s rare, larger dogs—especially when in groups—can even treat much smaller dogs like prey. To ensure everyone’s safety, try to find dogs who seem physically compatible with yours.
Above all, pay attention to what your pet wants when you introduce them to potential buddies, they’re body language communicates volumes.
Choose a safe area for play time with a secure fence or barrier or peaceful open room. The pets should have enough room to run and wrestle, but you should be able to get to them quickly if a scuffle erupts. So avoid cramped spaces as well as gigantic, open areas.
Take frequent breaks. When play gets exciting, pets often take quick breaks to cool things down. But if your pet and their buddy don’t take breaks on their own, interrupt play every five minutes or so. Both you and the other pets pet parent should approach the playing pets at the same time.
Always make sure there is plenty of fresh water, treats and if outside a shady area, and always have FUN!
Until next time REMEMBER PETS RULE!