Introducing an animal into your home is a wonderful thing, but it can also be stressful for all parties involved. The key to introducing a pet into your home is preparation. Follow these pro tips when introducing a new pet into your home and your house will be running smoothly in no time!
Dog/Cat Proof Your Home
Even if the animal you are bringing into your home isn’t a puppy or a kitten, it can take a while to adjust to a new environment, and old habits could come back. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Set pets up for success by removing items and temptations from wherever they’ll be spending most of their time. Keep kitchen chemicals at a safe distance, tie up loose cords, install baby gates, and remove breakables to make the transition easier for all.
Do Your (Food) Research
Do your research on what type of food is best for your new pet. Kittens and puppies need different food than older dogs and cats and feeding them the wrong food can actually lead to long-term health problems. Talk with your vet about what type of food is necessary for their safety during the different stages of their lives.
There are many different brands and kinds of treats out there, and it is up to you to be a responsible pet owner and do your research to find what’s best for your pet. Reading labels to ensure pet treats are made with quality ingredients is extremely important. Reward your pet for making new friends with healthy and delicious treats from The Animal Rescue Site store!
Make Good Introductions
It’s been said that you only get one opportunity to make a first impression, and when it comes to animals that first impression is everything. A good introduction to other animals in the home can mean the difference between a household of peace and a home in peril. The way to introduce a new animal into a home that has a dog or a cat differs greatly depending on the species.
Introducing A Cat To A Cat:
There are many different ways to introduce a new cat to your old cat, but not all of them are effective or safe. The worst thing you can do is just throw them together and expect things to be fine. This may work for certain cats, but most appreciate having the time to adjust gradually to a change.
Keep The Cats Separated
You need to control the first impression. First impressions for cats are crucial. If they have a bad experience upon their first meet, they can carry that with them for quite some time. Avoid a negative experience by establishing a safe room for your new cat where they can get used to their new surroundings. This keeps the new pet physically removed from your old cat, but both animals can still smell and hear each other.
Let Them See Each Other
If things have been going well with the isolated interaction, then you can progress to a visual introduction. Let the cats see each other through a baby gate or a screen door, and gauge their reactions. Don’t force it. Try feeding them and playing with them in clear view of each other in order to build positive associations with the other cat.
Let the cats take things at their own pace during this final phase. It will take some time for them to determine that this new addition is a friend and not a foe. Be patient.
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Introducing A Dog To A Dog:
If you have more than one dog already living in the house, it’s a good idea to introduce them to the newcomer individually, so that they don’t gang up on the newbie. Doing the first introduction at a neutral location instead of your home may help ease anxieties and put both dogs on an even playing field. Your current dog will be less likely to view them as an intruder, and more like a possible new friend. Both dogs should be on leashes.
Use positive reinforcement to encourage good thoughts and behaviors when your dogs are together. It’s important to pay attention to their body language during this first meeting, as this can tell you the direction the interaction is going. Taking the time to research how to facilitate a proper introduction can save you lots of headaches in the future.
Introducing A Dog And A Cat:
The process of introducing a new dog to an old cat, or vice versa, is similar to bringing a new cat into a home with an old cat. There are some great tips and tricks out there, but remember that each pet handles introductions and changes differently.
Keep animals separated
For the first few days, rotate the new and old animals in and out of confinement. This allows them to smell and hear each other without risking a bad first introduction. Once your dog is calm and not obsessing over the cat and your cat is relaxed and eating normally, you can move on to the next step.
With your dog securely on a leash, you can let have a face-to-face interaction. Pay close attention to their body language, and move back to step one if necessary.
Once you are confident that both animals are relaxed, happy, and comfortable around one another while on leash, you can lose the leash and closely monitor how they interact. If they behave and seem comfortable, you can start to allow unsupervised interactions as desired.
To Crate Or Not To Crate
Crate training is often a topic of debate among dog owners. If you decide to crate train, be sure to introduce the crate correctly and safely. Crate training isn’t for everyone, and we aren’t here to say that it should be. Whatever you decide about crate training, the most important thing is that your dog is comfortable and safe while alone, whatever that means for them. Learn more about crate training here.
Adding an animal to your household takes patience. They will need time to adjust to their new living arrangements, and to get to know you and other members of the household. Be patient with them, and let them get comfortable on their own terms. If you follow these tips, you will have a happy household in no time!
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