Are you getting a new furry family member?! Congratulations! To keep everyone happy and safe, here are a few tips on how to introduce new cats and dogs to your family. If you have any questions, please contact us and we can help!
Introducing a new cat to a dog
Some cats love dogs and will play with them like they’re part of the same pack, other cats will tolerate dogs, and some cats are terrified of dogs. Consider your cat’s personality before getting a new dog and before introducing the two animals.
- Start with separation. Keep your dog in one area of the house and your cat in another. After a day or two, switch their spaces, giving them both the opportunity to get used to each other’s smell.
- Once your new pup seems to be calm and comfortable with the cat’s scent, put a leash on him, and take him into the room with the cat for a few minutes at a time, based on the reactions of each animal.
- Continue introducing the animals in the same manner for a few minutes each day until they are calm around each other.
Introducing a new dog to another dog
Dogs are “pack” animals, meaning they have a natural social structure and dominance hierarchy. If you already have more than one dog in your home, they probably have this structure in place. When you’re ready to introduce a new dog into the pack follow the steps below.
- Choose a neutral location. If you do your introductions on your existing dog’s turf, he’ll be inclined to view the new pup as an intruder.
- Be sure each dog is on a leash and is being handled by separate people.
- Let the dogs thoroughly sniff and examine each other, being mindful of each dog’s body language
- Use plenty of positive reinforcement, including treats and praise, when the meeting is going well.
- Once the dogs seem comfortable around each other, take them home. Because of their natural hierarchy, one will likely take the dominant role, and may seem to claim certain items or areas of the house.
- Give the dogs time to adjust and to get into a routine with their new family member.
Your new dog or cat will feel part of the family in no time! Keep these steps in mind when you bring home your new furry pal and contact Colony with any questions!
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