Pets Who Suddenly Become Rivals

Everything seems to be going smoothly with your pets when out of the blue, they become rivals. Sometimes pets (dog with other dog, dog with cat, cat with cat) become aggressive with one another. In order to prevent this from happening or to stop it, examine the reasons why this is occurring.

Are you giving on pet more attention? Is there a toy that each has claimed as its own? Are they being fed too close to one another? Do they feel their space is being invaded? Are they feeling threatened by each other?

Examine your behavior with each pet, individually and when they are together. It’s important to know how you interact with each pet.

If your pets have been friends and there is sudden onset of aggressive behavior, it’s necessary to have the pets examined by a veterinarian to determine if there is a medical reason. If medical reasons are ruled out, there are ways to help improve relationships.

Provide enough exercise for each pet. Dogs usually walk nicely together when on-leash. Stimulating pets with enough physical and mental exercise can work to avoid any unwanted conduct.

If aggression involves fighting over food or beds, simply feed away from each other and keep beds a distance from each other.

Toys can be tricky. If they fight over a particular toy, remove it. Give them each their own toy and reward them when they play in an acceptable manner.

Make sure you give each pet the time and attention s/he needs.

Keep up with obedience training. Your pets need constant reinforcement in order to quickly and willingly obey your commands.

Be consistent. Pets enjoy knowing that your behavior towards them and there general routine is dependable.

Check for any existing stress in your pets lives and try to remove it.

Pets often show redirected aggression. This can occur when your pet can’t reach whatever is causing an aggressive response and they turn on each other. This behavior is generally temporary, but be alert to any changes in their attitudes towards each other.

If one or more of your pets have not been spayed/neutered, hormones could be at the root of the problem. It may be necessary to spay/neuter to help stop aggression.

When you have to be away from home, keep them separated, either keeping them in their own crates or in separate rooms with closed doors.

When your pets show the proper behavior, praise them lavishly and give them treats. That way they learn that acceptable behavior is rewarded.

When introducing a new pet to your home, follow the rules so that aggression doesn’t become a factor and peace reigns.

If you’ve tried everything and are still having problems, it may be necessary to call in an animal behaviorist to help try and solve the problem.

Sadly, there are times when pet aggression toward each other cannot be resolved. Then you must make a choice. You can keep them separated in your home permanently with gates. Or you can give up one of the pets to a good home, one you’ve researched thoroughly, preferably where they could be the one and only.

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