Some pets will integrate into a family with an existing pet better then others. If you have an older pet it might be better to adopt an adult with the same amount of energy. An older pet may not want a young energetic puppy or kitten jumping on their arthritic limbs. A younger or energetic pet may be more suited to a household with another energetic pet with similar play styles. Before considering a new pet, think about how your existing animal will respond. If you don’t think your dog will respond well to another dog it may be best not to adopt a second dog.
Adopting a dog or cat from the shelter could be considered, as the animal will have been temperament tested and the staff will be able to give you an idea of how the animal may respond to other animals. Some pets are happier with a puppy or kitten being adopted over an adult animal as they feel ‘less threatened’. As these animals get older there can be some ‘arguments’ to try and establish a pecking order.
We always want to set up our pets for success, especially in these situations. Adding a new pet to the family can be a very stressful experience for both animals. If introducing a new dog try having the dogs meet on a neutral territory, such as a dog park. Try to keep the first meeting relaxed and playful. When the new dog comes home for the first time, make sure any objects that the existing dog might want to compete for such as toys, chews, food, are removed.
Close supervise is vital, when pets first come home. If your pet is mostly inside and sleeps in the family room it might be better to allow your new and existing pet to interact in the backyard or somewhere else your existing pet doesn’t spend a lot of time. This area should be large enough that both animals have space to wonder off if they wish to. Reducing that ‘forced’ and ‘trapped’ feeling.
Giving lots of praise and tasty food treats for good behaviour towards one another can be helpful so that both animals associate each other with positive experiences. It is important to provide your new pet with their own area for sleeping and eating. Feeding the animals separately may be necessary to ensure food will not cause conflict between them.
It is important to avoid situations that may cause one or both animals to become stressed. If any signs of stress are noticed in either animal, allow some time apart. Some pets do not respond well with another pet in the household. Whether they be the same species or not. Some pets just don’t like the share their space and their humans attentions.
If any further questions please contact Mermaid Vet on 5572 1278