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Seven Tricks to Keep Dogs Away From Fish Tanks

At A Glance

Keeping both dogs and fish can seem a tad ambitious for even the most enthusiastic pet parent. But in reality, it’s fairly simple. We give you the top seven tried and tested tricks to keep your dog away from the fish.

  • Simple things such as keeping the tank clean or covered - to training your dog to keep away.
  • With these simple methods, you can ensure the safety of your fish and help both pets peacefully co-exist with each other.

Last Updated on: Feb 28, 2023

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Animal lovers will agree that one pet is never enough – most pet parents are constantly looking for new additions to their families.

With other pets at home, fish tanks can be a fantastic yet manageable choice for your living space. They add a splash of color to a regular room, and watching the fish swim around can be incredibly calming.

If you’re considering keeping both dogs and fish – and wondering about any potential danger the fish could be from the dog, we’re here to reassure you. It’s absolutely safe to keep both at home, provided you follow these top tips for keeping dogs away from fish tanks.

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits

Keep the Tank Clean

The smallest of things can overstimulate dogs. Every new smell can excite your little one, including the smells from your fish tank.

To prevent your dog from getting into your fish tank, keep it clean at all times so the smells aren’t as tempting. You can do this by getting a proper water purifier system or plants that keep the tank clean. Something like a lucky bamboo works great for this purpose and looks attractive in your tank too!

Cover the Fish Tank

Whether you opt for the humble fish bowl or a fancy 100-gallon tank, it’s essential that your aquarium has a cover, especially if you’re trying to keep dogs and fish separate.

The cover doesn’t necessarily have to be a solid lid but could come in the form of little brick roofs or something equally aesthetically pleasing – as long as it keeps prying snouts away.

Keep Fish in a Separate Room

Provided you have the luxury, and the space, it makes sense to keep an aquarium in a room where your little puppy isn’t allowed to go. This solution helps when your pet is not trained enough to keep away from the tank – and when it is not under your supervision.

It’s a simple yet effective solution. All you need to remember is to keep the door shut when you’re not at home, and your fish can swim safely.

dog and fish

Mount Your Fish Tank on a Shelf

Apart from adding a bit of extra charm to your living room, keeping a fish tank on a high shelf is the perfect way to keep your dog away. Provided your fish tank is the right size and it isn’t too inconvenient to clean or feed your fish, this is the ideal solution to separating your little one from your fish.

It can also prevent your dog from accidentally knocking the fish tank over.

Plus, it offers your dog an excellent vantage point from where they can watch the fish swim around. This is as relaxing for your dog as it is for you.

Introduce the Dogs and Fish

Training your dog to meet your new fish pets is not as complicated as you’d think. Just like when introducing them to new humans, keep your dog on a leash and let them get close to the fish, and get used to the new pets.

If your dog tends to get too excited, take them out, and bring them back in after a few minutes. Once your dog has smelt its surroundings and been introduced to the new sights, the fish shouldn’t bother them.

dogs and fish - tweet

Train Your Dog Well

While training a dog to respond to basic commands like “sit” and “heel” are on every pet-parents list, we recommend a few other commands when you also have a fish tank.

“Go to your place” is a great trick to teach a dog, as it helps your puppies stay out of trouble in many situations. “Come” is another good one.

Distract Your Puppy

Apart from watching them swimming around a tank, dogs aren’t too bothered by the presence of fish. This is especially true when they have other distractions to keep them busy.

When you catch your dog staring at the fish tank with intent, distract them with their favorite toy, or with a treat. This can slowly train them not to pay much attention to the tank and divert their energy to other places.

At the end of the day, there shouldn’t be too much worry about keeping a dog house and fish tank in your home. Dogs mind their own business, as long as you follow some of these basic tips and tricks, and the fish, of course, can always rely on their glass bowls for protection, if things go wrong.



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.