How to Introduce Your New Dog to Your Existing Pets
Welcoming a new dog into the home can be a daunting experience, especially if there are other pets waiting to meet the new arrival. Thus, it is important to first understand the best way to introduce a new dog to existing pets within the home. Such consideration will bring minimum disruption to the animals within the home and will help to socialise the new addition to the family.
Introducing a New Dog to an Existing Dog
We have to understand that such a situation can be very stressful for dogs that are already at home within the family. When a new dog suddenly enters the premises, the natural instinct is for the existing pet to defend its territory. If this situation is handled in an incorrect manner the dogs may end up fighting with one another to assume the dominant position of pack leader.
When first going to collect a new dog, be it a puppy or a larger adult dog, wear clothing that will have the scent of the other dog or dogs already at home on it. Not only will the period before bringing the new dog home give an owner chance to bond but it will give the new dog time to grow accustomed to the scent of the new dogs it will meet.
When arriving at home, place the new puppy or dog in a dog cage somewhere around the home. Be sure to provide plenty of fresh water and toys for it to chew and leave it for a while for the other dogs to discover. When the new addition is discovered the existing dogs within the home may be excited – praise them for finding the dog and act excited too as the owner! Dogs will get a lot of their emotional cues from humans, so if their owner is excited about something it must be a good thing!
Try not to act wary or nervous of the situation. If both dogs seem fine and non-threatening then the new dog may be let out of the cage. It is also important to remember to let the dogs take their own time about getting to know one another – do not force them to interact when they do not want to – and do not favour one dog over the other – be sure to give both dogs the same amount of love and attention.
Introducing a New Dog to an Existing Cat
Introducing a new dog to a cat is not so different a scenario to introducing dogs. Again, when bringing the dog home place it in one room of the house that can be sealed off, perhaps the laundry room after letting him explore the home and leave his scent. Let him explore whilst the cat is also secured in a different room. When the dog has been put away again, let the cat now explore the home and pick up the scent of the new dog. Repeat this procedure over a couple of days so that each pet gets used to the other’s scent.
When they are eventually ready to meet, the dog should be on a lead and the cat should be in a carry cage to provide protection. It will take a while – days or perhaps weeks – for the two to become used to one another, so keep meetings short to minimise stress for each animal.
Do not Forget the Essentials
As with any new animal there are essentials that have to be taken care of before bringing the animal home. This is especially true for new puppies. Is the new pet insured? If not, find dog insurance now to ensure that the puppy is covered in the case of illness or injury. Also ensure that all vaccinations are up to date and that regular vet’s check-ups are scheduled. Problems such as fleas should be dealt with as soon as possible as these can pass from animal to animal. Of course all policies come with restrictions and limitations so it’s important to check that the policy you choose is suitable for your dog.