Fido Meet Whiskers: How To Introduce Your New Dog To Your Pets
By Jane Williams
Mon, Feb 17, 2020 at 9:25AM

Fido Meet Whiskers: How To Introduce Your New Dog To Your Pets

Around 1.6 million dogs are adopted from shelters across the U.S. each year. If you are ready to add a new dog to your household, how you introduce your new pup to the rest of your animals is crucial to ensuring everyone can live in harmony together. Whether you already have dogs, cats, birds or fish at home, the most impart of introducing them to your new dog is not to rush it. It may take a bit of time and effort, but making sure the introductions go as smoothly as possible is important for everyone.

Introducing A New Dog To Resident Canines

When introducing a new dog to your resident dogs, you need to try to avoid reaching the threshold where either dog begins to growl and posture at the other, not to react to it after it happens. Start by keeping both dogs separated and give your new dog the chance to sniff out the house. It’s a good idea to let the dogs have visual contact with each other while supervised.

Keep both dogs on their leash and on the opposite sides of the room to each other so they can still see each other. You could also let them spend time together outside in the yard, but if there is any growling or aggressive behavior then quickly separate them. If play starts to get a bit rough, then separate them and follow up with more supervised interactions.

Having the dogs meet in a neutral area like outside in your yard or even at a dog park allows for the dogs to get familiar with each other without the obstacle of territory coming into play. It can be difficult for the resident dog to accept another dog into their kingdom so to speak. However, if they meet at a dog park and then again in the backyard, the resident dog will be more open to allowing to share their domain with the new dog.

Introductions to Smaller Pets

Introducing your dog to your small pets such as birds, rabbits, hamsters, and even fish should always be closely supervised at the start, especially as some dogs have a strong hunting instinct. Teach your new dog some key tricks such as sit, stay or leave it which you can use as a distraction if they become excited around your smaller pets. If you keep fish, you’ll need to keep them in mind when it comes to introductions.

Some dogs won’t take any notice at all of a fish tank, while others will be excited by the sight of the fish swimming around and will try to swipe at the fish. Keep your new dog on their leash when you first show them the tank. Allow them get close enough so they can have a good sniff of it.

Familiarizing Your New Dog With Your Cats

If your new dog is pretty relaxed and laid back, then put them in their crate and let your cat check out the crate and have a good sniff of their new canine sibling. The dog shouldn’t growl or try to get to the cat. If the dog is more excitable or is known to be aggressive towards cats, put them on a leash sitting next to you and let the cat come over when they wish. You may wish to feed the cat away from the dog just while everyone is getting to know each other and so your cat can see that they can eat near the dog without being chased.

Even when both your dog and cat can positively interact with each other, still keep your new dog on their leash and make sure interactions are supervised. During their interactions, it’s a good idea to keep your new dog distracted with treats, toys and plenty of attention from you, so your resident cat can feel safe and comfortable. Make sure they have somewhere they can go to if they feel threatened or just want some time alone.

Bringing home a new dog is an exciting time. To ensure the new pup settles in and gets on well with your other pets, take introductions slowly and make sure you give plenty of praise too all pets involved.


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