As a pet owner, we often find the thought of adding another pet to our family a bit overwhelming, but there are a few tips and tricks that might just make the transition a breeze for both you and your furry friends.
- Don't be afraid to mix dogs & cats! Just because you have a dog doesn't mean a second pet in the household must also be a dog, and vice versa.
- Personality goes a long way! When looking for a second or maybe even a third pet, the most important criteria should be the personality of all pets involved. For example, if you have a hyper, playful dog and are interested in adding a cat to your household, try looking for a confident, young adult or adult cat that has a playful personality. If a kitten or cat has a shy demeanor, they may be overwhelmed by your dog. If a cat is too mellow they may be easily annoyed by your dog.
- Take your time! Once you've adopted a new pet, it's important to introduce your existing pet and new pet slowly, especially when dealing with cats. Try confining one pet and letting the other one roam, then switching it up. This gives both pets the chance to investigate the other's scent and acclimate to sharing their house with another pet.
- Food is a great motivator! Try placing food bowls close to the door separating your pets. This will help them associate something good (who doesn't like to eat!) with something new (the scent of the other pet).
- Ignoring each other is a good sign! After a few days you will hopefully notice that your current pet and new pet are less interested in the other's scent. This is a good time to allow a face to face introduction.
- Stay in control! If introducing a dog and cat or two dogs, be sure the dogs remain on a leash during the first introduction. This will give you more control in case of aggression or fear.
- Monitor interaction closely! During this "honeymoon" stage while everyone is getting used to the changes it is imperative you crate or confine at least one of the animals. Safety should always be your number one objective.