Just like humans, animals have their own unique personalities. When you pair two different species together it can be h.ar.monious—or the clash of the titans.
That cute goldfish prefers a specific habitat that may not jibe with another type of fish. An animals’ habitat plays a huge role in determining if animals can co-exist, especially in the case of fish and reptiles. Habitats aren’t just about who gets the bigger rock to hide under, but things like natural history, eating patterns, and food types. For example, the cichlid fish should only be housed in cichlid communities, and you must know where the little guy comes from before introducing him to another cichlid. “For example, Lake Tanganyika cichlids can only be housed with other cichlids of the same area of origin. The different varieties of these cichlids each have their own unique habitat requirement,” says Brian W. Ogle, assistant professor and program coordinator, Anthrozoology at Beacon College Leesburg, Florida. Look for fish labeled “community” for your aquarium as they do well in groups. However, caution is advised when joining fish that are labeled “ag.gr.ess.ive” or “semi-ag.gr.ess.ive” labeled fish.
Reptiles and amphibians are in the herps family but not all should share a table at the family reunion. Some reptiles carry ba.cte.rial d.is.eases that are usually h.ar.mless to them but could be h.ar.mful to another species. “This is especially true for animals that come from very different areas of the world and live in very different climates,” says Dr. Ogle. It is not recommended mixing animals that do not naturally exist in the wild or share similar requirements in regard to climate, space and nutrition.” Reptiles have a difficult time communicating with other animals that don’t share their communication methods. This results in unnecessary str.es.s for both animals trying to coexist. “For example, you could not easily house an iguana with a desert tortoise due to their vastly different environmental needs. The same would go for a bearded dragon and tree frogs.
3. Pre.dat.or-prey relationships
Caring for the goldfish your kid won at the school carnival is fairly easy unless you have a curious cat waiting with a jar of tartar sauce nearby. It’s not the cat’s fault. But you should definitely keep natural instincts in mind before pairing up different species of pets. “Typically, in pairing we commonly str.es.s pre.dat.or-prey relationships in multi-species pairings. However, this is not always a factor,” states Dr. Ogle. “Early exposure during an animal’s critical development period can greatly impact their ability to socialize.” For example, Dr. Ogle has two cats that live h.ar.moniously with a rabbit. “This is only successful because my cats were exposed to rabbits as kittens and have grown up with them. Reinforcement of positive behaviors were critical.”
4. Dogs and cats, dogs and dogs or cats and cats
“When choosing to pair pets together in the same home, or as I like to call it ‘building your pack’ it’s important to develop a strong understanding of your pets’ personality traits such as focus characteristics, social style and experience level,” says Jessica is will allow them to retreat when necessary, but engage with the others on their own terms.”
Farm living often renders bucolic images of foals frolicking and cows grazing peacefully in lush green meadows. That’s because farmer Mc Donald knows that some species don’t play nice in the barnyard. “A surprising combination that does not work well together for most pet owners are ducks and chickens,” says Dr. Ogle. “They require vastly different habitats and physical needs.” Another odd couple is the rooster and drake (male duck). They can be ag.gr.ess.ive in a flock. “Turkeys and chickens also have to be managed carefully. The main concern here is a p.ara.si.tic in.fe.cti.on known as blackhead d.is.ease,” says Dr. Ogle. As far as livestock goes, donkeys aren’t too keen on dogs and need to be introduced to each other carefully.
Birds of a feather don’t always flock together! Some animals have distinctions that aren’t easily detectable at first glance. Birds, for example, seem very similar, with the exception of their colorful plumage. Yet, each species has different habitats and unless you’re an experienced bird owner and have the space and capability, Dr. Ogle says don’t mix birds of different feathers. Yes, Polly does want a cracker but he’s not sharing it with a canary.