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How to Introduce Dogs to Small Pets in a Household

Some dogs have strong instincts for chasing and killing small animals. Terriers, for example, have been bred for centuries to strengthen their instincts for going after vermin — that’s why they’re called ratters.

If you have hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice, guinea pigs, ferrets, or rabbits as pets, your dog may feel a compulsion to get to them, so be extra careful to keep these small creatures safe. Introduce them carefully, or keep the small animal in a place where the dog won’t see it.

Never leave small animals or birds alone with dogs, for the safety of both — a dog can kill a small bird, but to a small dog, a large parrot is a formidable foe. Make sure that cages are out of reach and inaccessible to your dog.

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