The Benefits of Raising Dogs and Small Animals Together

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Owning pets can bring about an incredible amount of joy in your life. From the tail wagging of a dog to the purring of a cat, there are numerous reasons why these creatures make our lives better.

However, for most, a single pet is not enough. The goal is to create a multi-pet household. So, are there any benefits to raising dogs and small animals together?

This article will cover all you need to know about creating a multi-pet household consisting of dogs and small animals.

Emotional Intelligence

Dogs are intelligent creatures that can pick up on various cues from humans and interacting will small animals is no different for them.

By being around small animals, dogs tend to attempt to comprehend these little creatures. As such, their emotional intelligence and ability to adapt increase.

With constant interaction with small animals, dogs can learn to alter their behaviors and tendencies to make that of their new tiny friend.

Learning Opportunity

Taking care of a pet can become challenging sometimes, but there are various resources to get help from. The same rules apply if you are in a multi-pet household. However, it is more exciting to experience owning a dog and a small pet.

This provides enriching and educative experiences for you and your companions. Being involved in an interspecies relationship allows your pets to learn about one another. It gives them the opportunity to utilize their social skills in a way they usually wouldn't. Furthermore, it allows them to indulge their curiosity.

For you, it gives you a chance to observe the behavioral tendencies of your pets individually and as companions, giving you a better insight into how the animal kingdom operates.

Strong Cross-species Bond

Dogs are known for their pack-like nature. They enjoy social interactions and long for companionship. Typically, you would expect these dogs to find companionship in humans or other dogs.

However, when you bring a dog and small animals such as penguin tetras together, you would be surprised to find that the dog and fish become best of friends.

This is because, similar to the way your dog would include you or another dog in its pack, they can also include other small animals, such as hamsters or birds.

While your dog may not be able to interact with some small animals, watching them in their surroundings is exciting.

For example, you may catch your dog wagging its tail as they watch a guinea pig move around in their cage or a fish swim in their tank. Additionally, the small pets benefit from the comfort and safety they feel from their large friends.

Ultimately, this companionship can help your dog deal with separation anxiety when you are not around. Also, it can offer a distraction and stimulation when you can not provide these things yourself.

Emotional Benefits and Memories

As a pet owner, being a part of a multi-pet home can lead to heartwarming and wholesome moments you won't soon forget. Watching your dog and their tiny pal interact, play, or even take a nap together can be relaxing and endearing, bringing about a sense of peace and joy.

Better Socialization

Pets such as dogs and cats require socialization when young. It helps with their emotional development as well as confidence and adaptability.

As a pet owner with one pet, you would have to leave the house or organize a playdate to provide this kind of socialization. However, in a multi-pet home, you can allow your pets to interact and socialize with each other.

That said, your pets need to socialize with animals they are less familiar with. Hence, going out with your pets or organizing play dates is still vital to their development.

Increased Exercise

Name: Photo by Ron Fung from Unsplash

Alt text: a dog running on a field

Having a fellow animal to interact with not only improves your pets' mental health but physical health as well.

As your pets get older, their exercise levels decrease due to old age and numerous health issues. But, with someone to play with at all times, their activity levels remain high most of the time.

Reduced Allergic Reactions in Children

Pets are fantastic for kids, from companionship to lifelong friendships, but they may also help with allergies. According to a report from JAMA Network, kids living in multi-pet homes are less likely to be sensitive to allergens like dust mites, grass, and animals.

How to Create a Peaceful Multi-Pet Household

The process of creating a harmonious multi-pet home may be tedious in the beginning. However, with patience, knowledge, and intentionality, you can set up an environment that suits all members of your home.

Introduce your animals under strict supervision. You can even purchase a camera to supervise them when you are not in the room.

Keep in mind that animals differ and will adapt to companions differently. So, allow your pets to observe themselves from afar and slowly reduce their distance as they get more comfortable.

Also, remember that your pets have different requirements and care, so be sure to attend to their various needs adequately. Furthermore, ensure to make time for one-on-one interaction with each pet. This is because, as much as your pets may enjoy each other's company, they also need attention from you.


There are numerous benefits to a multi-pet home, such as emotional enrichment, mental and physical development, and learning experiences.

If you decide to add a small animal to your home, it is important to be patient and understanding in the beginning, but with time these animals will adapt. Ultimately, creating a multi-pet household is a journey worth taking and experiencing.

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