Introducing Pets to Each Other
Whether or not your pets get along depend on their personalities.
Your current pet may view a new pet as a threat; there may be a few
scuffles as each animal establishes his "place in the pack".
Do not interrupt them if there is no danger of injury, and provided
they are supervised at all times.
Some pets will merely tolerate each other. Others will become
great companions (like my own two dogs and cat). Here are a few
tips for introducing a new pet into your home.
Always supervise your pets until you are absolutely sure they get along.
Until then, separate your pets by confining at least one of them to its own
room. Only allow them to interact with each other with your supervision. It
may take them hours, days, weeks, or even months for your pets to adjust fully
to one another.
Introduce your pets indoors in controlled situations. Keep your dogs
on a leash and do not tolerate any aggressive behaviour. If you are
introducing a cat to a dog, do not allow the dog to chase or corner the cat -
even if it's out of playfulness or curiosity.
When introducing a cat to a dog, do NOT hold the cat in your arms.
A frightened or nervous cat may scratch.
Allow your new pet to familiarize itself with its new home. Temporarily
confine existing pets to a room to give your new pet a chance to feel more
comfortable with its surroundings.
Give your pets separate food and water bowls. If you are introducing cats,
also provide separate litter boxes. Feed your new and existing pets in different
Be especially careful when introducing dogs or cats to caged animals.
Dogs and cats can live in harmony with rabbies, guinea pigs, birds, etc... but
please introduce them under strictly controlled supervision. Keep in mind that
cats are very agile, so placing a cage high up on a shelf doesn't necessarily
protect the caged pet. Don't take any chances - one mistake could be fatal to
your caged pet.
Give them time. Do not try to force your pets together; allow them to
adjust at their own pace. Give all your pets - particularly the new one -
time to gain confidence and decide when to face his or her new housemates.
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