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Introducing Old Pets to New Pets

It's not unusual for people who own one pet to decide to add another to the household. They may get another dog so their first canine will have a friend, or maybe they want to adopt another cat so they can furnish more than one feline with a good home. It's always a good idea to do a little planning before introducing a new animal to a household that already has pets. Learn some tips on how to successfully introduce a new dog or cat to a household with pets before you bring home your new addition.

Introducing a New Dog to a Feline

Owners must keep in mind that even the smallest dog is capable of hurting a feline, so give the cat a safe place to go if it feels threatened and wants to get away from the new dog. An owner may want to set aside one room just for the cat. Put the cat's food and water bowls in the room along with its litter box. Another tip is to keep the new canine on a leash when introducing it to the cat. That way, the owner has control as the two pets slowly get accustomed to one another.

Introducing a New Cat to a Canine

It's best to move slowly when introducing a new cat into a home with a dog. An owner should ask a friend to help with the introduction process. First, an owner should give the two pets the chance to simply look at one another. If both animals remain calm, the owner can allow them to sniff one another. One person should keep hold of the cat and the other person should restrain the canine so the situation is under control. Depending on how the animals react to one another, an owner may increase or decrease the amount of time they are allowed to sniff each other.

Introducing a New Cat to One Living in the Household

Space is an important consideration when introducing a new feline into a household with a cat. There should be enough space for the cats to move away from one another when they need to. Also, an owner should make sure that each of the cats has its own food and water bowl. The owner should constantly monitor the activities of the cats as they become acquainted.

Introducing a New Dog to One Living in the Home

Consider the temperament of a canine before introducing it to one already living in the home. If an owner has a dog that is passive and shy, it's not a good plan to get one with an aggressive temperament. Also, consider the size of the new canine. Is it going to intimidate the dog already living there? It's a wise idea for an owner to supervise the two dogs at all times as they are getting to know one another and establishing their position in the pack.

Does the Age of an Animal Play a Role in the Introduction Process?

The age of an animal does matter when introducing it to another pet. It may seem like a nice idea to introduce a kitten into a household with a senior cat, for instance, but there's a chance that an older cat may not tolerate a playful, energetic kitten. For instance, the cat may not allow the kitten near the food bowl. The same goes for introducing a puppy to a household with an older dog. The success of bringing in a younger animal depends on the temperament of the older pet as well as its health.

Is the Gender of an Animal a Factor in the Introduction Process?

Gender can be a critical factor in the introduction process. Undoubtedly, an owner should make sure that animals of different genders are spayed or neutered before putting them together in the home. Keep in mind that male dogs and cats can be territorial even if they are neutered, so an owner may want to consider two females. The best approach is to gradually introduce a new animal into the household to determine whether it will get along with the current pet.