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Introducing a New Pet Into an Existing Cat or Dog Home

While adding a new furry family member may sound like fun, there are some things you should do to make sure it is a good fit for your family. It is always a good idea to start with a bit of research on the new breed you are considering adding to your home. This is important because you want to be sure the two are compatible breeds. The typical age to add another pet is at a young age and around the same time frame. However, sometimes this is not always possible to do so here are some helpful guidelines to help make your introduction and transition are a smooth and safe one.

Picking the right pet types

The best cat-dog matchup is one where both animals are familiar with each other in previous settings. Animals or strays who have been rescued from distressing conditions can still reside in the same living environment; however, those pets will need extra socialization and training. There are some dog breeds who should not reside with cats because they are instinctively born to hunt while other breeds are not.

For a current dog and new dog relationships, it is essential to avoid any aggressiveness during the meet and greet phase. It is important for each dog to have their own food and water dishes, toys, and beds. Also, it is best to separate the dogs when giving any treats. Always confine them when you are not able to supervise them. Although, you can just provide a barrier for the new dog, such as a baby gate, so your current dog can come visit as they wish to. If you notice any bullying behavior or excessive growling while the dogs are interacting, quickly separate them and tell them no. If you need additional help, veterinarians can usually provide resources for a certified behaviorist to help you with the transition period.

Give the pets time

It does take time for pets to transition to the unexpected changes in their environment. Cats and dogs are both territorial in nature so it is best to be patient and make introductions gradual over a few days to several weeks depending on how they are responding to one another.

Pets need their own space

It is important for each pet to have a safe and private area for rest. Again, each pet needs their own water and food dishes as well. Cats may need separate litter boxes. If it is a cat and dog introduction make sure to keep litter boxes in a place where your dog can not find it. Yet it is a good idea to transfer scents from each animal. You may rub a towel or blanket on each pet and leave in the opposite pets resting space; this will allow them to get use to one another scents.

Observe for nail trimmings

A cat’s instinctive swipe at another cat or dog can not only upset the pet but could result in an injury. So keep close monitoring of nail manicures or another option would be to cap the nails with vinyl covers to protect your other pets from injury.

Adding additional pets to your home can bring fun and provide you and your pet more companionship. Fostering the needs of each pet is essential for building a lasting relationship for each of your furry friends.