How to Introduce a New Pet to Your Existing Pets

by Chelsea Dogs
How to Introduce a New Pet to Your Existing Pets

Introducing a new pet to your family can be an incredibly exciting experience, especially when there are other dogs, cats, or other pets to welcome that pet into your home. Owners of multiple pets have the unique responsibility of ensuring that pets get to know each other, feel comfortable around one another, and avoid any aggressive or threatening behaviours towards one another. Unfortunately, many pets tend to feel competitive with new additions to the household – regardless of species – and they may show hostility towards the newcomer. In order to facilitate the introduction process and protect the safety of all beloved pets, the pet owner must be prepared to stand firm about boundaries and demonstrate equal treatment towards all the animals in your family. By taking necessary precautions and enforcing behaviour rules, you will be able to introducing any new pet to your existing pets with the least amount of confrontation and commotion.

How to Introduce a New Pet to Your Existing Pets

Understanding the Origins of Competition Between Your Pet

Most domesticated animals are very sensitive to emotions, social behaviour, and favouritism as demonstrated by their owner, and are keen on rebelling against any inequality in treatment. Cats, for example, are particularly hostile towards new animals that are added to their household on the basis of their particularly sensitive personality. In contrast, dogs tend to be friendlier with their housemates, whether developing a new relationship with a young pet, or continuing a lasting friendship with a long-time housemate. However, pet owners must be attentive to the development of any new tensions between pets, as relationships between pets can change drastically over time.

Introducing Your Pets to One Another:

Supervising the Development of a New Friendship

When you first arrive at home with your new pet, be sure that you properly introduce the new pet to any other animals in the house with a positive attitude and friendliness. Keep all tension at bay, even literally within the leashes of your pets so that they do not feel as if they are choking. Calmly guide the pets towards one another, and allow them to smell each other and gently play. When introducing your pets to one another for the first time, your primary concern should be nixing any hostility in the bud between the pets. Be sure to take note of any differences in behaviour: if your dogs display any violence towards one another, or if they bark or hiss uncontrollably, it is important to separate the pets from one another.

Establishing Separate Spaces for Your Pets

Some of these relationship troubles are precipitated by tensions about sharing food, toys, and litter boxes. Most pets enjoy a stronger sense of self when they are able to be in control of their own space, and introducing a new pet into this space can lead to a loss of control over what was once considered a pet’s personal possession. in – whether with fellow pets, other animals, or people – will develop when a pet feels comfortable with his or her space and belongings, and is treated with kindness, fairness, and love from his or her owner.

How to Introduce a New Pet to Your Existing Pets

Without separate space, any unhealthy behaviours that your pets initially display will become exacerbated. Other key signs to look for are arched postures, other aggressive vocalizations (such as growling), and unexplainable injuries such as scratches or bruises that may have occurred when you were not present. Be sure that there is punishment and separation when pets act out: it is important that you do not ignore any outbursts, or pets will learn that such behaviour is ok. It is also critical that pets have their own pet food to eat, from separate bowls and ideally in separate spaces. Pets will quickly learn which foods are theirs with a bit of coaxing and praise, and rewards such as small pet treats might help to reinforce healthy eating behaviours.

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