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Growing up with a pet is very much part of the Australian way of life.  Four out of five of us owned a pet in our childhood, and the majority of Australians who currently don't have a pet say they'd like one in the future.

For people lucky enough to have room for a pet, it's often difficult to stop at having just one.  However before rushing out to get that second pet there are some important things to take into consideration.

Some people that work long hours wish to get a second pet to provide companionship for their existing dog or cat. Two cats are relatively easy to manage but having two dogs could be too demanding on some owners' time and budget.  Should you decide to keep two dogs, it's best to have one of each sex to avoid fights.  Dogs and cats can provide one another with significant companionship even though they are different species.  You might think it is difficult to keep the peace in a household with a cat and dog, but they can become great companions especially if they are acquired at the same time.

Introducing another pet to the existing dog or cat in residence usually works out fine if they are introduced gradually and under supervision.  When you first bring home your new pet, put them in a room behind a closed door for a few days so that your other pets can get to know the new arrival initially by smell 'through the door.'  When you introduce them face-to-face they will already be familiar with each other, but as a precaution it is a good idea to keep dogs on a leash for the first few meetings. You should also make sure that you know they can get along before you leave them alone. 


Don't allow a new puppy or kitten to badger or irritate an older animal. Care should also be taken to ensure both pets are paid equal amounts of attention to avoid jealous reactions.

When introducing a cat and a dog, people usually worry that the cat will come off second best but keep an eye out for the dog as well!  Cats like to establish that they are the boss from the first meeting - even if that means running away after delivering a quick swipe to a dog's tender nose!

Whatever pet combination you decide on, make sure you can provide all animals with adequate exercise and care to keep them healthy and happy.

Petcare Information and Advisory Service Australia

Last Update: 25/09/07 14:26 Views: 3851

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