We are reader supported, we earn a small commission when you buy something using our retail links.

How To Safely Introduce A New Fish Tank To A Household With Dogs

At A Glance

If you're wondering how to safely introduce a new fish tank to your household when you already have dogs, there are ways to do it.

  • Slowly introduce your dogs to the empty and gradually filled fish tank. Ensure they maintain enough distance to not tip it over.
  • Always ensure your dog is amply entertained so its mind doesn't veer to the fish tank. Ensure your fish tank isn't too smelly or cover it with a lid. Always supervise your dog when it is around the tank.

Last Updated on: Apr 25, 2023

Table of Contents +

Dogs can add a lot of warmth and joy to a home. Nevertheless, if you love animals, it makes sense that you want to add more pets to your household. For example, you might want to get an exotic fish.

That said, getting a new pet is not as simple when you have dogs in the house. Do dogs like fish tanks and fish? Maybe not for the same reasons you do! They might want to topple the tank and get curious about the smells that arise from it.

So, how do you introduce a new fish tank when you already have dogs in your household?

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits

Slowly Introduce Your Dogs to Your Fish Tank

One of the best things about dogs is that they can peacefully coexist with various other animals. From fish to reptiles, your dogs can live with a number of species as long as you introduce them properly.

The first thing you should do is slowly introduce your dogs to the new fish tank. Seeing as it is new, your pups might not understand what it is or how to handle the addition. So, give them time to adapt.

Furthermore, a dog’s sense of smell is pretty heightened, so your dogs might be unable to differentiate between vibrant black tetras and a simple dinner fish, meaning you need to give them time to figure it out.

So, before introducing your fish to the tank, start small. Place an empty tank in your room and let your pups get used to it. The tank shouldn’t have any smells yet, so that should be easy.

When you notice that your pets are comfortable around the tank, you can fill it up with water, your fish, and any decor you want. Now, reintroduce your dogs to the fully functional tank. You can use a leash if need be.

do dogs like fish tanks - tweet 1

Keep Your Dog Away From the Fish Tank

When you have successfully introduced your dogs to the tank, you typically don’t have to worry about them paying attention to it. This is because dogs usually stay away from fish. After all, fish cannot run past them or get into their space.

However, dogs are clumsy animals, so they can easily tip the tank over. Therefore, to avoid this, you should place the tank on a high and steady surface where your pups cannot reach. This way, your dogs cannot jump onto the tank and hurt themselves or this fish.

Do dogs like fish tanks? Well, dogs may be curious and tend to be drawn to fresh, cool water. So elevating your tank and keeping it out of reach is best.

Lastly, there is a possibility that your dogs might take an unhealthy interest in the tank. If this happens, you should move the tank to a space where your pups cannot see it.

Stimulate Your Pup

Dogs are intelligent and excitable animals that easily get bored without proper stimulation, and when they get bored, bad things happen. So, keeping your pet stimulated is in everyone’s best interest.

Toys, training sessions, and other activities can help engage your dogs and keep their minds on something other than the fish tank, especially when you are not home.

Get your dog several toys and give them a lot of exercise. Depending on the age and breed of your dogs, be sure to give them the recommended amount of exercise. This is especially important in the first few weeks or months of introducing your new tank. Hopefully, your pets will be too tired to play with the fish tank.

Reduce the Fish Tank’s Smell

Dogs have a sensitive sense of smell, which they use to navigate the world.

While this is a beneficial trait for them, it can cause serious problems if you have a fish tank. Due to their advanced sense of smell, dogs can smell things that humans cannot, including the smell of your fish tank.

Do dogs like fish tanks? Well, they may be drawn to the smell.

If the smell attracts your dogs, chances are they might start some shenanigans with the fish tank.

To eliminate smells, consider placing a lid on your tank. Also make sure to clean the tank frequently. This will help get rid of odor-producing bacteria.

Also, properly seal fish food and place it in a secure cabinet where your dog cannot reach it.

Train Your Dogs

Proper training is the way to go to keep the peace in your home. Training your dogs allows you to teach and instill appropriate behavior and get rid of problematic behavior.

Do dogs like fish tanks? In some cases, you might not need to train your dogs because some dogs are chill, while others enjoy watching fish move in a tank.

Remember that training your pup might be tricky, so if you do not know how to go about it, consider enlisting the assistance of a professional trainer. If you plan on doing it on your own, note that positive reinforcement and steady practice are keys to success.

do dogs like fish tanks - tweet 2

Provide Constant Supervision Around the Fish Tank

If your fish tank is in a separate room, it is crucial that you constantly keep an eye on your dogs in that space. Regardless of how much you believe your dogs will keep their distance from the tank, you should always have at least one person watching over them.

Locking the tank room until your return may be an option if you are leaving your house and no one else is available to supervise. As an alternative, you can get a baby gate or any other type of barrier to keep your dogs away from the tank.

If your fish tank is located in a central and prominent area, and your pups are well-trained, leaving them unsupervised might work. However, keep in mind that dogs easily get excited, and you might come back to find a disaster.

If you’re considering getting a new fish tank for your household filled with dogs, don’t stress! The introduction process is fairly simple.

Granted, dogs can be unpredictable, and accidents may occur, but taking the necessary preventive measures can help prevent them.

As long as you take your time and follow the right procedures, you can safely move your fish tank into your home.



I am a full-time mum of two kids and a beautiful golden retriever. Writing is my passion: from food journalism to pets, parenting tips, etc. I can write on just about everything under the sun. I have been writing for the past 7 years and during that time, I have been a regular contributor to several blogs and pet magazines. I have also written feature articles, POV pieces, and dabbled in a few different formats of writing over the years.