Introducing your new dog to your other fur babies can be a stressful time for any pet parent. Many people worry that their pets won’t get along and the entire experience can cause a lot of anxiety to say the least. Some people choose to throw their pets in at the deep end, bringing their new pup home and just hoping for the best. In reality, this may cause your existing pets to feel scared or even jealous (which you really don’t want). At TastyBone, we’ve put together the top tips on how to introduce your new dog to your existing pets.
- Get outdoors
One of the best tips for introducing your pups to each other is to do it outdoors. Your pets see your home as their territory and may not appreciate an uninvited guest (rude, but true!). However, they’re likely used to seeing other dogs, say in the park for example. Arrange a meeting of the minds on neutral territory and keep both dogs on their leads while they have a good sniff of each other.
- Install baby gates
Baby gates aren’t just for rambunctious toddlers, they can also be used for dogs too. Installing baby gates before you bring your new dog home will prepare your existing dogs and cats for the new arrival in that they will be used to not having free roam of the house. When you bring your new fur baby home, separate your animals with the baby gate between them and let them see/smell each other while still keeping them separate.
- Slow and steady
Whether you’re introducing your pets outdoors or in the home, be sure to keep the meetings brief. It’s important not to overwhelm your pets with too much too soon, so after 5 or 10 minutes, separate them again. Repeat this for the next couple of days and your existing pets (and new dog!) will soon get used to the change.
- Be calm
Even if you feel anxious, be sure to stay calm when introducing your pets and use a soft soothing voice at all times. Both dogs and cats are highly intuitive animals and they will be able to sense your unease a mile off. If you seem calm and relaxed, your pets will feed off this energy and behave in a similar manner.
It’s true that pets can easily get jealous, especially if they’re used to getting all your love and attention. Before the arrival of your new pup, make sure you get your existing pets a couple of new toys for times when you’ll be busy with your new dog. TastyBone chew toys are packed with flavour and the super durable nylon means they will keep your dog busy for hours on end. Shop online here.
- Offer rewards
Good behaviour should always get a reward. If your pets are coping really well with the new arrival and seem to be welcoming their new brother or sister into the family, be sure to give them a treat. Offering treats sends a clear message that you appreciate their positive behaviour and they’re more likely to continue being good if they know a reward is up for grabs.
- Know what to expect
When it comes to introducing your new dog to your cat, don’t be alarmed if they don’t immediately become best friends. Cats are naturally quite independent and generally prefer to do their own thing without giving the new dog very much attention at all. It’s worth keeping in mind that if your cat uses a litter tray, you may want to move it as you don’t want your new pup playing in it. If you notice any signs of aggression when it comes to your dog and cat, consider seeking professional advice for your dog.
- Equal attention
Dogs are very much like children in that a new arrival can bring on feelings of abandonment and sadness. Your dog or cat may misbehave to get your attention and as much as you might want to spend all your time playing with and training your new pooch, be sure to give all your pets equal amounts of attention. This will go a long way to reassure them that they’re still loved and appreciated despite the arrival of the new kid on the block.
Ultimately, as long as you take the slow and steady approach, it’s very likely that introducing your pets for the first time will be no trouble at all. If you recently introduced a new pet into your home, we want to hear about it! Share your stories and pictures with us on social media and tell us about your experience.