Learn how to protect your fish tank from curious cats and determined dogs! These five tips will prevent accidents and interactions between your dog or cat and your new fish tank.

Owning a fish tank and watching its colorful inhabitants swim peacefully back and forth has many advantages. However, it’s not something your dog or cat should be encouraged to do. Dog and cat guardians can still enjoy the benefits of a freshwater fish tank, and these tips will help all your animals coexist.

1. Place Your Tank Somewhere with Limited Access

This can be tricky, but it’s probably the most important thing you can do. Here are some simple tips for placing your tank:

  • In a niche or alcove where there’s no access from two or three sides
  • High enough that other animals can’t reach it
  • Away from furniture dogs or cats could use as a springboard to reach the tank
  • Somewhere that dogs or cats can’t stare into the tank endlessly

If you have a particularly curious or determined animal, you may have to set up the fish tank behind closed doors to protect the fish.

2. Make Sure Your Stand Is Sturdy and Self-Contained

While predation is most people’s concern, many dangerous interactions between fish and other pets happen by accident. An overexcited dog or curious cat can easily cause a tank to fall from a stand if it isn’t properly set up.

Make sure your stand is sturdy, stable, and too heavy to be shaken by an accidental bump. Position the tank well away from the edge and tuck away stand covers and electrical cords.

3. Reduce Smells Coming from the Tank

Dogs navigate the world by smell, and while they can see and hear the world around them, they’re more likely to ignore things they can’t smell. Reducing odors from the tank will keep your pup at bay. Clean the tank regularly to prevent algae and bacteria from building up and store fish food and treats away from the tank.

4. Cover the Fish Tank When You Aren’t Home

Cats rely heavily on sight and movement to understand the world. Your cat will happily sit and stare at the fish tank for hours, but this will stress out your fish. Use a fish tank cover or throw a blanket over the tank when you aren’t around. You can also give your cat something else engaging to stare at, like a nature video or an open window.

5. Protect your Fish Tank with a Solid Lid

Having a solid lid will reduce tank smells, mute the sound of running water (which may intrigue your cat), and prevent animals from reaching into the tank. If you have a cat, stack some things on top of the lid or otherwise prevent your cat from laying on it, which would stress out your fish.

With a bit of planning and a lot of cautious supervision, your dogs and cats will ignore your fish tank, leaving all the animals to live together in peace!