6 Tips to Successfully Introduce New Pets
Adopting another pet can be an exciting and nerve wracking experience. As a current pet owner, you may be worried about bringing another pet into your home because you don’t know how he or she will get along with your current pet. However, there are measures you can take before and after adoption to make sure your pets get along.
1. Schedule a Pre-Adoption Meet and Greet
Many shelters, for example the Beaver County Humane Society where my sister adopted her cats Nina and Echo, either require or recommend arranging a meeting between existing and new pets before adoption occurs. This may be the safest and easiest way to ensure your furry-friends can get along. A shelter volunteer is present and if the meeting seems like it is headed south, they can help make sure that all parties are safe.
2. Take a Blanket or Shirt with Your Pet’s scent and Yours with You
While traveling with your newly adopted pet back to your home, take a blanket or t-shirt that has both your scent and your current pet’s scent on it. Make this the lining of the pet carrier so when you are traveling they have time to get accustomed to your scent and your current pet’s scent.
3. Create a Special Room for Your New Pet
Making a special room for the new pet can be a great way to get them used to a new home. This can be as simple as blocking off a room and filling it with your newly adopted pet’s food, toys, and bed. Getting them used to a smaller environment first is less stressful for the pet than having them roam an entirely new place. Once your new pet seems less anxious, letting them explore other parts of the home will be exciting and fun!
4. Set Up Designated Feeding Stations
When introducing new pets into a home with pre-existing pets, it is a good idea to separate food. Aggression over food is a common scuffle that happens with pets no matter how long they have known each other. When a new pet is introduced, it is best to get new bowls and keep them in separate rooms at first. This will help reduce stress and anxiety.
5. Supervise Interations
After your new pet roams around and gets used to his or her new home, make sure to watch how your pets interact with each other. If aggressive behavior happens or the play gets too rough, it may be a good indication that both pets need some alone time. Separate your pets so they can have time to cool down. A good idea is to spend equal time with each pet while the adjustment takes place. Jealousy can cause problems and delay bonding. Slowly incorporate spending time with all of your pets at the same time. This will get your pets used to the idea of a group unit rather than two or more pets competing for affection.
6. Don’t Give Up!
Just like their human counterparts, pets can get scared, annoyed, anxious, and worn-out. Meeting new people and pets can be overwhelming. Give your pets time to adjust. They may need time to get used to having a new brother or sister. That’s completely natural! Any adjustment takes time. Squabbles will happen, tails will get chased, and at the end of the day, everyone will be worn out and ready for bedtime.
What tips do you have for introducing new pets? Leave a comment and let us know!