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Introducing a new dog or new cat to your family home

Introducing a new dog or new cat to your family home

Introducing a new pet into your home can be a stressful experience for both the new and existing pets and, if things aren’t done properly then problems can soon arise.

Patience and understanding how nerve-racking it can be for your pet can go a long way to helping things go more smoothly, but there are other things to bear in mind.

Here are a few top tips that our friends at Blue Cross have helped us with to ensure a successful start…

Introducing you pet to your children

  • Even if your new dog or cat has lived with children in the past, remember it will not be used to your kids and will need a little time to get to know them. For their first meeting, allow your new pet to approach your children rather than the other way round. This ensures your pet will not feel threatened and lash out.
  • Once the initial introduction has been made, it’s important to teach children about how to approach, stroke and handle cats and dogs and to treat them kindly. A pet can help your child learn about respecting other creatures and being gentle.
  • Be particularly cautious when introducing children to older dogs. Teach your children to be especially gentle with an older dog that may have impaired vision or hearing – sudden approaches can startle the dog and it could bite in defence.

Introducing your pet to other dogs and cats

  • It is best to first introduce two dogs on neutral territory so take them out for a long walk together. Remove anything they are likely to fight over from the house, such as toys or bones, until they have settled down.
  • When introducing a dog and a cat, it’s essential for the dog not to frighten the cat. This can mean having the dog on a lead for the first meeting and allowing the cat the freedom to get out of the way or approach if your dog wishes.
  • When introducing two cats it is useful to delay the cats from meeting for a few days or even a week. During this time, keep them in separate rooms, but allow each cat to investigate the other’s room and bed without actually meeting.
  • Try to supervise all of your pets’ encounters for the first few weeks to ensure a successful outcome.

Do you have any tips that you’ve found helpful? Is there anything else you want to know? Let us know below…

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