I have agreed to dogsit in my house for some friends next weekend.
They have a 9-year-old 22 lb Shih Tzu mix, who is very mild-mannered.
I have 4 cats in my house, who have only seen a dog once in person
just for a few minutes, but get along with each other well for the
most part. The one time my neighbor's dog was in the house, only one
of the cats freaked out, but the others were either uninterested or
sniffing curiously. The dog will come with a crate. I plan on keeping
him in the crate in a closed off room at night when I won't be able
supervise interaction between the cats and the dog. The family
includes a young boy, and I have witnessed the dog passively accept
him pulling her ears and tail so I am not worried about her attacking
or chasing the cats if they show any aggression towards her. The dog
is very friendly around humans, but I have been told she doesn't play
with other dogs at dog parks and prefers to stay close to her owners.
I have met the dog a few times and she seems very comfortable around
I would like to make it as comfortable a weekend as possible for all,
and would welcome any advice as to how best to introduce the dog to
the cats. We have a 2000 sq ft house so there should be plenty of
for the animals to have their space, and I plan on keeping the door
my large screened in patio open during the days to allow them more
room to roam. Anything else I could do to make it a happy weekend for
all would be much appreciated.