Dogs and cats are by far the most popular pets.There are many households that include more than one dog or cat, or even both dogs and cats. As a result, there is a lot of information on introducing a new puppy to your old dog, or introducing a dog and cat. But what if your household includes different, more unusual, pets? Guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rats, and other rodents are common pets. So are rabbits and ferrets. Many people own birds. Turtles and tortoises, lizards, and snakes are also common pets. Should you even consider having a dog with other pets like this in your household? The short answer is "yes." Dogs are generally pretty affable creatures, and they get along with almost anyone and anything. However, as with most things with a new puppy, things will go much more smoothly if you put a little thought and planning into the situation beforehand.
Younger is better.Generally speaking, it's easier to introduce a puppy instead of an adult dog to a home with other pets. This may seem counter-intuitive since adult dogs are generally better behaved. But there are several advantages with a puppy. For one, when a new pup is introduced to your household, his pack mentality will likely consider every living creature there as part of his pack. Not only are humans his pack, but so is your canary or guinea pig. Plus, since he's the new kid on the block, his pack mentality will tell him to defer to all his other pack members. There's also less chance the puppy will have had a bad experience with another animal of the same or similar type, so he'll be more open to presuming the new animal is a friend.
Give some thought to the breed.Although with patience, time, and training you can teach your puppy to befriend any and all of your other pets, give your dog's breed some thought. Dogs that were originally bred as hunting dogs might not be the best breeds to keep around your birds. Terriers and other breeds that were bred to chase rats might not be the best breed to choose in a home with hamsters or guinea pigs. On the other hand, you want to be careful bringing home a Chihuahua puppy if you have a boa constrictor. Getting your dog to trust and accept another animal can be a time-consuming effort. The task is much more difficult if one animal by their nature considers the other a mortal enemy or prey.