Ways to Keep a Dog And a Fish Tank at the Same Time

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Multiple pet household

In many households pets are like our children. Often the only other living beings (at least the welcomed ones) in the house, they often are sources of joy and stress relief. Playing with your fur baby or taking your four pawed bestie out for a walk could be one of the most sought after daily rituals after a long day’s work with people you really don’t care too much about. So, over thousands of years, and throughout several civilizations and cultures, pets have become an essential adage to our households.

Pets also come in a variety of species. While the mammalian kind like our favorite Fido brings us companionship and joy, the fans of marine life love a touch of marine life in the forms of the favorite fish (say Nemo) add interest and life to an otherwise lifeless living space. 

That is why fish tanks and fish as pets are some of the bestselling pets. According to a recent survey, there are an estimated 150 million fish and 75 million dogs in American households. So, the chances of Fido’s pack including Nemo is quite likely.

What happens when you happen to have Fido and Nemo together in the household? Well that can be tricky because dogs are naturally inquisitive animals and love to turn everything into toys. That can spell trouble especially if Nemo is in a water fish tank holding gallons of water. So it is very important to properly introduce your dog to a fish and the tank.

So here are some tips and tricks to keep a dog and a fish in a fish tank at the same time. 

Introducing Your Dog To The Fish And Fish Tank

For dogs, proper introduction to any new object or a new pet is key. Whether it is another dog or a kitten, one must properly introduce a dog to a new pet. This is the most critical part of the process.  If you have a well-trained dog, leash-training would have been a part you would go through by the time the dog is well trained. 

You likely would have trained him how to walk on a leash, heel on a leash, stop and say hello to a friend on a leash or even say hello to other dogs on a leash.  So for a dog leash time is often associated with obedience time and often pleasure.

Dogs love walking and walking is associated with leashes. So, your best bet to introduce Fido with Nemo is to have Fido on a leash.  Gently let him approach the fish tank and let him sniff it out. Barring any behavioral issues, the dog is likely to just assess the fish tank and sniff it and move on. That will take care of the introduction. 

 As for Nemo, he truly doesn’t care what is Fido up to.  Because generally fish doesn’t scurry away from a dog like other small animals, the chase instinct of a dog is not an issue. It will also help to take your dog for a nice long walk before you bring him back to introduce him to the fish tank/fish.

Gauge Interest Of Dog In The Fish Tank

Often the interest of the dog in the fish tank might have to do with the water in it more than the small fish in it. Especially if the fish tank has some colorful features and lights. So, try to limit the visual interest of the fish tank and avoid getting a super flashy tank. If, however, you like the colorful vibrant and lit up fish tank, then try to gauge your dog’s interest. Water loving dogs might try to jump in or stick their paws in the tanks. So keep a watchful eye on the signs of interest – perked ears, tilted heads, wagging tails, and a panting tongue around the fish tank. If you sense the dog is too interested in the fish tank, you may have to reconsider the color and light features.

As well, whenever you see his attention diverted to the fish tank, distract him with a favorite toy so he starts to ignore the tank and focus more on his toy. This phase should take not more than a few days to train your dog to look away or not pay too much attention.

Keeping Your Fish Tank Away From Your Pooch

Just as how you would be cautious about placing a large glass container with water near your toddler or child, dogs are no different. After all, their brains are very similar to a toddler’s.  So, you will need to be very careful where you place your fish tank. The tank should be placed on a secured sturdy surface that will not wobble if the dog runs into the structure.

Place the tank as high above the dog’s eye level as possible. Remember safety comes first.  If you start to notice an unhealthy level of attention from your dog towards the fish tank you may need to consider moving the fish tank in a different room where the dog has limited access.

Food For Thought

Finally, fish food is something you need to be careful with. The food is generally kibble dried type of food. While it is harmless for dogs to ingest the food, it can cause some gastro-intestinal issues. So, like all your other pantry items and garbage, keep the fish food away from access of the dog in a cabinet or cupboard that the dog cannot access.

We have all seen videos of dogs getting into all sorts of food supplies. So, the same caution you apply to your dried pantry goods should be applied with fish food.

When You Leave Them Alone

Even if your dog is not very interested in the fish tank in your presence, boredom can be a powerful motivator for a dog for getting into all sorts of mischief. So, it is highly recommended that the dog is placed in a separate room from the fish tank when you have to leave the home.

 Any good dog trainer will tell you, crate training or confined space training is the best thing you can do for your pooch because often boredom along with separation anxiety can lead to all sorts of serious damage the poor pooch would get into. The same caution applies here.

With these bases covered, you should be well on your way to lead a pack of dogs and schools of fish together as welcome additions to your family.

Always pet responsibly!

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