Getting a new pet can be very exciting for you and your family but your other pet may not share the same excitement when it comes to meeting your new furry family member.
Introducing your pets to one another is going to be a lengthy process and unfortunately won’t happen overnight. It’s better to introduce them to one another slowly and build a safe, healthy, and long-term relationship, rather than forcing them to get along and one becoming aggressive, scared, or even hurt in the process.
There are a few stepping stones to go through before your pets become best buddies. First of all, don’t panic. The first meeting, for most pets, is going to be uncomfortable and it’s normal for pets not to get along at first. It could take up to six months for the two to get used to each other. Consider your pet’s characteristics and come up with a plan. Think of the unique factors of your pets. For example, puppies and kittens are easier to introduce as older dogs and cats have already developed their personality. You know your pet, so develop your plan based around how you think they will react.
Once you have your new pet, take your existing pet out of the house, either for a walk or a drive. This way your new pet has the chance to explore your home first and feel comfortable in their new environment, smelling the other pet without the stress of meeting them.
Then slowly bring the two pets closer together in neutral territory. Allow the two to sniff each other through a closed door. When both are comfortable and ready, allow playdates for short periods of time for them to connect, then return them to their safe space when they want to. Don’t force the interaction if one pet is not comfortable in the situation. The feeling of being safe and secure is crucial when introducing your pets to one another. Keep these playdates short, relaxed, and fun.
Try taking your pets out before introducing them. For example, if you are introducing a new dog to the house, take them on a long walk or play a game of fetch in the park. This will make your dogs use a lot of their energy and will help prevent them overreacting when you introduce the two. However, before taking your dog outside, it’s important to ensure your all of their vaccinations are up-to-date. This will prevent your four-legged friends from contracting serious infections and diseases.
During the play time, both your pets with positive reinforcement. Give them treats, praise, and playtime as rewards. But make sure you give equal love to both pets. You don’t want one to get jealous! Also, make sure you give your new pet their own new items. Don’t take away or share your older pets beloved bed, toy, or water bowl as this will lead the older pet to become confused and jealous.
If you are introducing a cat and a dog, take extra care when they first meet. Beforehand make sure you trim your cat’s nails to prevent any sharp scratches and set up an easy escape route. For your cat, create a separate area filled with food, water, and a fresh litter box where they can retreat, just in case they don’t feel safe for a few days. When it comes to the introduction, keep your dog on a leash and slowly let the two connect. Keep this time short and then allow them to go back to their safe areas where they can relax and calm down.
There you have it! With a safe and slow introduction, your beloved furry family members will be friends in no time. Remember not to panic. Making the two feel comfortable is the key.
Are you struggling to find the right solution for your pets while away on holidays? Contact Samford Pet Resort to book your pet in for their luxurious holiday. They’ll be pampered with human affection and be enriched with plenty of play time.
Do you live over the northside of Brisbane? Check out our sister pet resort, Northshore Pet Resort.