Introducing a New Pet to Your Furry Family
Introducing a new pet to your furry family can be very exciting! In order to make sure everything runs smoothly proper introductions should be made. This blog post will talk about how to do so.
Introducing Two Dogs
When introducing two dogs, first impressions are important. How they interact during their first few encounters can set the tone for their relationship moving forward. Below are tips for introducing the two:
- Introduce them to each other slowly and carefully– throwing them together in the backyard can lead to heartbreak and potentially serious injuries if it doesn’t work out.
- Have them meet on a leash– make sure this interaction is on a neutral territory, such as a neighbor’s yard or tennis court. Take them for a walk together but keep them about 10 feet apart to get them used to being in each other’s presence.
- Have them meet at home– first have them meet in the yard, then inside the house. Bring the new dog into the house first without the resident dog being there. This allows the new dog to get used to the house first.
- Keep them separate while you are away– either in separate rooms or crates. This is to prevent fighting and injuries, and to prevent the new dog from developing bad behavior.
Introducing Two Cats
When introducing two cats, don’t worry too much about gender. Age and temperament are the most important factors. Success depends largely on the personality of the cat. Cats are territorial and can require weeks or months to adjust to changes in their environment and lifestyle. Below are tips for introducing the two:
- Create a sanctuary room for your new cat– confine the new cat to one room with his own litterbox, bed, food, and water for a week or so.
- Feed them on opposite sides of the same door- this is to associate the pleasurable activity of eating with the presence of another cat. Gradually move the bowls closer with each feeding.
- Let your new cat explore– once the new cat seems comfortable, is eating well, and using their litter box, confine your resident cat to one room while the new cat explores. This is so the new cat can come in contact with the resident cat’s scent without direct contact yet.
- Monitor the cats’ first interaction and limit time they spend together at first– you want to avoid letting the two cats establish a pattern of aggressive or fearful behavior. If they fight, distract and separate.
Introducing a Dog and a Cat
Despite the stereotype, many dogs and cats learn to live together peacefully. Be patient and take the introduction process slowly, but the pets’ personalities will be what determines whether they get along or not. Below are tips for introducing the two:
- Keep pets separate at first- keep them separate for at least the first 3-4 days, and make sure the cat has their own dog-free space. The goal is to have the pets get used to each other’s presence without face-to-face contact yet.
- Feed them on opposite sides of a closed door– the idea here is to teach them to associate the presence with the other with pleasant things, like food. With each feeding, move the bowls closer together.
- Teach basic commands– start teaching obedience cues, such as “sit” and “down.” This is a lot easier with dogs, but cats can be trained as well. Keep training sessions short and rewarding.
- Begin face-to-face meetings– conduct meet and greets in a common area of the house. Keep the dog on a leash and let the cat come and go as they wish. Give both pets treats for desired behaviors.
- Allow pets loose together– when the pets appear to be getting along, allow them loose in the room together. If tension erupts, go back to earlier introduction steps and repeat the process.
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