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Introducing A New Animal to a Multi Animal Home -- Monday April 19th, 2021
If you’re considering adopting an animal to a household that already has dogs or cats, you’ll need to consider some of the aspects before deciding:
If you have decided and chose the pet already, we bring you steps to ease the transition of adaptation.
Grooming is an important part of the animal’s life. The first ever visit for dogs should be at around 16 weeks, as young puppies are easier to train. According to your dog’s breed, choose a style that will work for you. For example, the pomeranians hairstyle trend is skyrocketing.
You can groom your animals at home - make sure their nails are trimmed - this is especially important to avoid them being able to harm each other, and your furniture, with their nails. Cats in particular, when feeling backed up in a corner, will use their claws in defense.
Keep certain key areas clean, such as around the eyes and genitals. Brush your animals regularly to prevent any infections. For e.g., ringworms can be passed on from cats to dogs and humans. Early detection of skin infections might prevent the spread to another animal.
When it comes to cats, use a rubber cat brush to remove loose hair or use a fine-tooth metal comb to remove knots in the fur.
You can trim your cat’s nails, but we do not recommend declawing.
Of course, in the excitement we feel over the arrival of a new family member, you can easily fall behind in the line of things to do, but a veterinary visit should take precedence!
Health problems do not necessarily catch the eye, especially for a new owner, but even those experienced may not recognize certain conditions that can even be infectious to people and dogs in the household. The first visit to the vet will include a condition survey that can shed a light on a possible problem, and if there is a problem, it is important that we take action against it as soon as possible!
Puppies with an underdeveloped immune system have a higher risk of developing life-threatening infectious diseases, while poorly housed dogs kept in confined spaces are also at risk. If you adopted the pet from a shelter, he/she has probably already undergone basic immunization.
The goal of every introduction is to establish a long, healthy relationship between your pets.
Your pets that live with you consider your house their house as well. To prevent territorial aggression, you should introduce your new pet to your old one in a neutral area. Both pets should be on a leash to limit their possible attacks. Sniffing is a part of getting to know each other, don’t hold them back at doing so. First meetings should be short and quick and the owners should stay calm throughout. Dogs mimic the owners' reactions and they seek guidance from them. Thus, don’t make him sense your tension, but rather your positive attitude toward the newcomer.
When at home, your older pets should follow their everyday routine. For at least a week, keep the pets separated from one another, but let them get used to each other’s smell by giving one some pillows that have the scent of the other one. The getting to know each other part should be done at their own pace.
If you’re introducing a new dog to a resident cat, make sure to trim the cat’s nails, to protect the dog. The cat should have an easy escape route in case the dog gets aggressive. A cat might decide to hide for a couple of days so prepare a bowl of food and water near the hiding place.
Dog meeting another dog
Always try to set up the first meeting at a neutral area for both new and resident dogs . You’ll need another hand to help you out with this, as both dogs should be on a leash during the meeting. If traveling by car, use two separate cars for the ride. Separate both dogs in the case you’re not home with them to avoid any fight.
Dog meeting another cat
Again, the dog should be on a fixed leash to avoid him springing for the cat. The belief that dogs and cats are common enemies should be disregarded, as in most cases it’s not true. Both are usually curious animals and if you see signs of that it’s a good indicator their relationship will blossom. However, signs of aggression from a dog is not a good sign and you should consult a professional trainer.
Cat meeting another cat
The “dog-cat combination” sometimes proves to be an easier relationship than that of two or more cats, being as cats are territorial animals and don’t like others of their kind. The process of cohabitating cats might stretch out for a long time, while they get used to each other, or at least start to tolerate the other. Separate them by a door, feed them separately, get a litter box for each.
Cat meeting another dog
A residential cat should have a safe space to retreat in case the new dog frightens her. Clean out some book shelves for her to climb up on, put pillows on elevated spaces from where the cat will be able to observe the newcomer. Cats soon become indifferent to new dogs as they are able to climb up and hide from them when they don’t want to spend time with dogs, especially if they are puppies eager to play.
It’s always difficult to foresee if the cohabitations will go as planned - for the most part it will be determined by the personality of your animals. Small animals, such as birds, lizards, rabbits, hamsters should always be in their confined area if they are not under supervision. Cats have an instinct to hunt mice and birds, and dogs will probably like a chase with rabbits. Always keep an eye out for the animal’s body language, be it a big or a small pet.
With dogs and cats conflicts can be further avoided if you separate their food. In the first few weeks never let them eat at the same time, but as time passes, you should try to bring their bowls closer together and feed them at the same time - and while doing so, never leave them alone.
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