Adding a new furry family member to your pack is exciting, but it’s important to think about how your existing pets will react. When introducing a new pet to your current ones, consider each pet’s temperament and personality. With some patience and preparation, these strategies can help you with the introduction process:
• Consider factors such as the breed, age and sex of your pets as these will help inform how one animal will react to the other. Also, consider how your current pet behaves around other people and pets and how they handle stress and uncertainty. These factors can help you decide which introduction approach to use.
• Give each pet an item with the scent of the other pet on them. Allowing your pets to smell each other’s scent before they meet can help make the face to face meeting easier.
• Use a neutral territory, such as a park to first introduce your new and current pet. This can help make your resident pet less likely to view your new pet as an intruder.
• During the first few weeks at home, keep your pets in separate areas of your home when you are away or can’t supervise their interactions. Also, keep each pet’s food separated. Make sure to provide separate litter boxes if you are introducing cats.
• Try to adhere to your normal routine with your pets as often as possible during the introductory period. Sticking to your pet’s regular feeding, playing, and walking schedule will help lower stress levels for your existing pets and also teach your new pets their routine.
• Reward good behavior and offer praise, affection, treats, and toys to promote good interactions between your pets.