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5 Top Tips for Introducing a New Pet to Your Household

Cat high fives owner

(Photo by Jonas Vincent on Unsplash)

If you have decided to bring another pet into your home, you may be feeling concerned about how your current pet or pets will react to the new addition.

Unfortunately, you can’t control how much your pets will get on, as this is entirely dependent on their personalities. They may bond instantly and become the best of friends, or they may work out a way to tolerate each other.

There are steps that you can take to help facilitate the process and make the adjustment period as smooth and easy as possible for all parties involved.

1. Let your new pet familiarize themselves with their new home

Although you may not want to ostracize your existing pet, your new one must be given adequate time to get used to their new surroundings before you introduce them to your other pet.

A good idea is to create a cozy space in your existing pet’s preferred room, complete with some toys and water, where they can relax while you let your new pet explore the rest of your home.

2. Set firm boundaries for behavior

If you are introducing a cat and dog to each other, for instance, it is advisable to keep the dog on a leash to make them unable to chase or scare the cat. You need to be firm with them and put a stop to any aggressive behavior immediately so that they know this will not be tolerated. If you live with your partner, both of you must be on the same page when it comes to disciplining your pet so that they do not become confused about which behaviors are acceptable and which ones aren’t.

It is also essential that you take your new pet to a veterinary facility before you introduce them to your existing pet so that they can be checked over for any infectious diseases or health problems that could affect them or your other pet. For Vets near Callowhill, Heart + Paw provide an exceptional level of service and care.

3. Do not force them to interact

Just like humans, pets have different personalities, with some being naturally more shy than others. Therefore, it is important to let them interact with each other at their own pace. Do not push them together in the hope that they will instantly bond and become friends for life.

If they do not seem interested in each other at first, do not worry. In time they will start to explore each other, maybe with just the occasional sniff or wander close, but it will happen. You need to be patient.

4. Reward positive actions

The easiest way to encourage good behavior and positive interactions is by rewarding your pets when they do something good with each other. If you are not a fan of edible treats, then praise them profusely whenever they interact positively with each other.

Although, always be sure to praise both animals as you do not want one to feel resentful of the other or feel left out.

5. Keep their belongings separate

Do not expect your pets to share water or food bowls, even if they are both dogs or both cats, as this will only cause conflict. It is a good idea to give them separate feeding areas, especially if they are not immediately bonding with each other. Cats should also have separate litter boxes.