Introducing your new pet to your current furry friends at home can be challenging and a bit nerve racking but we’re here to help provide some tips to make it go as seamless as possible. Whether you’re thinking of bringing home a new addition to the family or have already expanded your fur family, then it’s likely you will have to introduce them to your current pets at some point, Here are some ways you can make this process run smoothly:
Introducing a puppy to an older dog?
It is typical behavior for an older dog to become apprehensive of a new dog entering their home / territory. The best way to establish a positive relationship with the new puppy is to have their first meeting be in a place that is neutral, meaning the older dog and the puppy won’t be able to claim this area as their own. A common neutral meeting spot is a park that you can walk around at. Walking the two dogs together can help them understand that they are a team and are not in competition. It is important that you choose a location that your current dog does not feel is their territory, so if you tend to bring them to the closest park near your home, try a new park that is new territory to both dogs involved. Try going for a walk in a different neighborhood or going to a different park they have never been to before. Let the dogs smell each other and make their own introductions keeping in mind they will be sniffing each other's behinds throughout the process. We recommend that you do not bring any toys that your dog has already played with, because they may feel protective or territorial over it.
After you’ve introduced both dogs in neutral territory you can bring the dogs to your home and put the new dog in their new crate. Let your current pet stiff and roam around as they normally would do while the new pet is safe in their crate observing. Once your pet seems to have relaxed, you can take out the new puppy and let them explore their new space. This will help your older dog feel that they are in control of the situation and it will give them the opportunity to model the kind of behavior you want your new dog to exhibit.
If either dog shows any aggressive red flags, like biting, snarling, growling, or if they are being territorial, please consult with our team of professionals or seek the help of a dog trainer. Do not ignore this behavior as it can escalate quickly. Until both dogs seem to be totally comfortable with one another, do not leave them alone together.It’s important to keep an eye on your older dog to make sure after a few hours they aren’t becoming irritable or anxious with their new furry sibling. If you should need to separate them, be sure the puppy is being put into their new crate. This is a good opportunity for your puppy to get comfortable with their crate, to know it’s their safe space, made for them!
Introducing a cat to your dog (or vice versa)?
Cats and dogs have very different behaviors that they exhibit. We believe the best thing to do is to let your cat dictate how the interaction is going to go. Dogs are more likely to want to smell the cat and try to get into their personal space, whereas the cat is more likely to do their own thing, and remain unbothered by the dog's presence. Your dog’s curiousness could trigger a negative reaction in the cat. We recommend that you keep your dog on a leash and reward them for calm behavior using their favorite treats. The best kind of treat is the treat your pet reacts most to. A high-protein treat tends to be a good choice as the scent is strong and the taste is rich. Something to keep in mind, is that it is possible that their interactions will differ based on their environment. Dogs tend to interact positively indoors, but they may try to chase down the cat outdoors, similar to if they were in the wild. Every animal is different, we can’t stress that enough, so just try to keep an eye on how your animals interact with one another.
Remember, we’re always here for you and your pets! Give us a call, we’d be happy to help (845) 878-4833.