How To Introduce New Pets Into Your Home

You may decide it is time to add another addition to your home. A new dog can be a rewarding experience. Other animals, however, may reside in your home. Your dog or cat may not be as enthusiastic about another companion. The introduction phase should be careful and deliberate. So, here is how you can introduce your adopted dog to your other pets.

Introducing a New Dog to Another Dog

Have the Dogs Meet in a Neutral Space

The first step to introducing a new dog to your other dog is to bring them to a neutral area. Your current dog may immediately react negatively if a new pet arrives on their perceived territory. A neutral place can be on the street away from your house or at a park.

All dogs should be on a leash. When you introduce them, make sure there is a distance between them. The pets should be at least several feet away from one another. Gradually move the adopted dog closer so your pet can get comfortable with their presence.

The dogs should have a chance to sniff each other. If signs of discomfort emerge, slowly move the animals away. You can try again after a few minutes. It may take more than one attempt for the dogs to get comfortable.

Move to the Yard

When you think they're ready, introduce the new dog in the yard if you have one. Make sure to clear the yard of any toys. Your dog may get possessive over the toys and be less likely to get along with the new pet. The next thing to do is to keep both animals on the leash.

Bring the dogs closer. If they appear to be friendly, you can unhook them from their leashes. Continue to observe their behavior.

Let the Dogs Meet Inside

You can bring the adopted dog inside if the yard attempt is successful or you don't have an outdoor space. Toys and bones should not be on the floor when introducing your adopted dog. Both animals should be on a leash until they appear relaxed in each other's company.

Introducing a New Dog to a Cat or Other Pets

Prepare a Dog-Free Area

Instead of a dog, you might have a cat or another type of pet. When you prepare for the meeting, ensure your pet has somewhere to go. The cat should have a sanctuary available if they feel discomfort around the new dog.

The dog-free space should have what your animal needs. Be sure to include food and water bowls, toys, and a litter box.

Keep the Pets Separate

New and current pets should remain separate for a few days. It will allow your cat to get used to the dog without having direct contact. While separating them, feed them on the opposite sides of a closed door.

Your pet and the adopted dog can hear and smell without seeing one another. The animals can get familiar with and eat calmly near each other. While you have them separate, train your dog to follow basic commands like "sit." It may help when it is time for a face-to-face meeting.

Face-To-Face Meetings in a Common Room

Find a common area in the house and let your cat or other pet meet the adopted dog. You can keep your dog on the leash while your cat can leave if they want. Allow the two several minutes to be around each other. Keep an eye out for signs of aggression or discomfort.

Make sure the dog does not chase the cat out of the room. The behavior can ruin the progress you've made. Use commands or call the pet's name to distract them. Multiple face-to-face sessions may be necessary.

Tips for a Successful Introduction

Monitor Body Language

One tip for a successful introduction is to pay attention to the dog's body language. Growling, hair standing up on the back, and baring teeth are signs of wariness or aggression. A stiff-legged gait also indicates you may need to diffuse the situation. With cats, watch for hissing, ears pulled back, raised fur, and an arched back.

Let the Animals Choose the Pace

Some dogs are okay with greeting each other during a walk. Meanwhile, others must take time to get comfortable with being close to another pet. Be patient and let your pets take as much time as they need.

Use Treats

During the introduction process, use plenty of treats. A snack rewards the dog for good behavior. A treat also can distract or calm the pet. Food is helpful if you believe one or both animals are getting too nervous or excited.