Here`s another great article:
I'm a long time animal lover, and I have wanted to adopt a dog for years, but never felt like it was fair to the dog since I have been living in small apartments since moving out on my own. I have two extremely social and friendly bonded cats that I have had for years, but I wanted to wait until I owned a house until adding on to my family and bringing in a dog, so that he / she would have enough space while indoors, and a yard to play in while outdoors. Last year around this time I finally bought my house, and I saved, researched, and deliberated for a year before finally visiting the shelter last week, interested in a senior dog that ticked all of my boxes and captured my heart.
He's a 10 year old shepherd / hound mix, and is about 25 – 30 pounds overweight easily and very large. I don't know a lot about his history other than the fact that he was surrendered by his previous owner as a result of the fact that she couldn't care for him properly anymore. He is an extremely friendly dog and I knew going into the adoption that he has some issues that need working through ( largely the weight, and separation anxiety ) but he has never shown any aggression previously.
I've only had him for around 3 days, and I expected some behavioural issues for a while while he adjusts, so I was prepared. All things considered though, he's made marked improvements even over the past few days, and I'm super proud of him. His overall demeanor is brighter and happier; more tail wagging and visible signs of happiness, and he's a lot calmer when I'm home. ( Previously he would get anxious when I so much as closed the bathroom door to take a shower, but I've been working with him )
For the past few days ( I have an upper floor and lower floor that I can shut the door between ) I've put the cats upstairs while I'm home and the dog downstairs, and have the door cracked a bit so that the cats can see the dog and vice-versa without chance of confrontation. He has sniffed the cats through the door and seemed friendly and inquisitive, and has never barked at them. Today I allowed the more outgoing of the two cats ( Sundae ) into the kitchen while the dog ( Riley ) was leashed, and they got within about a foot of each other with no signs of aggression from either one. Riley wagged his tail and sniffed at her, no barking.
A few hours later, Riley was laying on the rug in the living room taking a nap while I watched TV, and Sundae sauntered into the room to investigate. I had forgotten to close the door from their earlier interaction, and immediately got up to put her back upstairs. Suddenly, Riley noticed the cat and woke up with a start, snarled, and jumped up from the floor to chase after Sundae. Since I was already up I was able to grab his collar and hold him back; I calmly told him no, and he immediately calmed down and let Sundae run away.
I know that it wasn't the dog's fault, but it was extremely scary and after separating the animals I was so upset that I unironically started crying. I absolutely love Riley, and I'm praying that this was an isolated incident and that he was just startled awake and didn't recognize that Sundae was a cat and not a prey animal. I'm feeling very overwhelmed and afraid for my cat's safety, so any tips on acclimating new dogs to cats in a household from vet dog owners would be incredibly appreciated. I want nothing more than to put in the time and effort to make this housing situation work for every creature living under my roof.
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