Here’s how to deal with sibling rivalry between your furry babies
Just like humans, sibling rivalry is common in pets too! Dogs and cats often fight over food or attention from pet parents, but in some cases these brawls can turn bloody or lead to one pet getting bullied. So, how can one ensure their pets get along? Veterinarian Harshita Sahu explains that it all boils down to the basics, such as introducing your dogs and cats properly and patiently from the beginning, and ensuring each of your pets’ needs (i.e. attention, space, food, playtime, litter boxes or toys) are adequately attended to, so they don’t get competitive or jealous.
Veterinarian Pragyesh Agrawal shares a few tips on breaking up a fight. “The pets should be immediately separated if things get rowdy. Next, identify the cause of the fight. It could be a toy both the pets want or over the food bowl. If they start hurting each other, then a basket muzzle will help. You can put one on them, as you reintroduce them. For a more long term solution, try putting them in situations where they enjoy each other’s company – like going on parallel walks, etc. Praising and punishing them based on their behaviour will also help.”
BOX 1: WHAT CAUSES SIBLING RIVALRY?
- Not introducing pets the right way
- When the needs of the pets – for space, attention or toys – are not fulfilled
- Separation anxiety
BOX 2: HOW CAN YOU HELP PREVENT FIGHTS?
- Ensure you introduce your pets properly
- Identify what causes the fight
- Make sure there is enough space and food for your pets, as well as separate litter boxes
- Praise and punish them based on their behaviour
- After a fight reintroduce dogs with muzzles on, and engage furry siblings through activities they both enjoy
- Contact animal trainers if things get out of hand