Those who want to bring a new puppy to their homes that already have a dog, cat or both should first do their homework to make the introduction a smooth transition. There are certain factors to consider before making the introduction to prevent any harm to the new pet and make the existing pets happy with the new addition. If properly handled, the new puppy will feel at home and bond well with the current pets without major disruptions.
First, let the older cat or dog meet the new pet on some neutral place such as a park or parking lot. The reason for the neutral ground is so that the old pet does not feel like the new one is invading on their territory. Once the introduction on the neutral territory has happened without any problems, proceed to walk the two to the home or car.
If the old dog or cat becomes aggressive during the neutral ground introduction, put the old pet into another room or even the garage. Bring the new pet into the house and place it in a dog crate that should have a water bowl. The new pet should wear a collar and have a leash. The crate should be made from high density plastic and have a wire door.
There are two important reasons for placing the new dog in a crate:
• Gives the new dog greater protection from the existing pet
• It gives the pet a sense of security by having their own little “home”
Once the new pet is in its crate, the old dog or cat can now be released into the house and have access to the room where the new dog is in. Once the old pet is in the room, spend time grooming or playing with them while totally ignoring the new pet. Once the old pet has calmed down, then take them to “visit” the new pet while it’s still in its crate. There are puppies that may bark or growl at the old dog or cat. Ignore their territorial threats. Do not talk to the new dog but do talk to the existing pet in soothing tones.
If the old pet seems friendly and wants to play with the new one, do not allow it for at least two days. This is done to allow the new pet to feel more secure in their new home and for the old pet to be more comfortable with the new one. In the meantime, if the owner wants to play with the new pet, they should put the old pet in another room to avoid jealousy issues. Be extra careful when taking the new dog outside the house because the old pet still perceives that territory to be theirs and it may take some time before the old pet is comfortable with the new pet treading the territory.
Introducing a new puppy to existing pets can be a smooth sail so long as the introduction is tailored to the needs of the existing ones because they perceive the home as their territory and will try to protect what is theirs if they are not “respected”.
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