Bringing a new pet home may not be as straightforward as it seems. Whether you’re bringing home another dog or introducing a cat into the family, there are certain ways to go about the process. That’ll make the transition a lot smoother for all parties involved. Before assuming that the other pets will easily accept any pet you bring home, consider the following.
1) Choose A Neutral Zone
Animals are territorial, some more so than others. The best place to introduce new animals is outside of your home, in a yard or outdoors if possible.
Some dogs may become aggressive trying to protect their territory from this new invader. Taking the two animals out of that war zone can help evade more serious problems.
Some dogs really won’t care about what animals you bring home. But the new pet might be fearful of the new living space.
If your new addition shows signs of aggression or fear, place them in a private area of the house. Then let them come out on their own once they’re ready.
2) Age Is More Than Just A Number
When mixing animals of different ages, you sometimes need to protect them from themselves. An old dog may get tired and snap at playful puppies that never run out of energy.
Dogs that have been the “only children” may get jealous when owners show more attention to the other dog. They may also growl when they have to share food or eat together.
Just like a parent, pet owners also have to ensure the older pets get attention. And they must let them know that it’s not OK to bite or growl at their newly adopted sibling.
3) Fighting Like Cats And Dogs
If mixing cats and dogs for the first time, there is no way to tell how either one is going to react. It might be a good idea to have another adult close by, just in case you need to separate the animals.
Cats and dogs can learn to live together when each one has their own area to escape to. Cats will normally sleep more during the day and dogs are usually not nocturnal, so the total amount of interaction time really isn’t that much.
Just like with any rule, there are always exceptions. Some dogs simply cannot live with other animals, period. Before bringing home any new animal, make sure they have a “return policy” just in case.