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Introducing a New Dog to Your Pets

Follow these tips for introducing a new dog to your resident pets.

Adding a new dog to your family can be an exciting time. If you already have other pets, it can also be a bit daunting. Introducing a new dog to other dogs or cat takes patient and careful attention. It’s important to work with the animal shelter or breeder that the dog comes from, and introduce the new dog to your resident animals before bringing the dog home. We have some helpful tips for introducing a new dog to your pets.

Introducing a New Dog To Your Pets
Bringing home a new dog is an exciting time for your family, but you have to properly introduce him or her to your resident pets first.

Introducing a New Dog to Dogs

Meet in a Neutral Area

Recruit a friend or animal shelter volunteer to help you, as each dog will need to be handled separately. You want the dogs to meet in a neutral location, where your resident dog is less likely to be territorial. They will definitely feel territorial in their own home.

If you’re adopting from a shelter, bring your dog with to introduce it to the dog you plan on adopting. Some animal shelters even require you to bring your resident pets with you. Always keep the dogs on a leash so you can stay in control of their interaction.

Pay Attention to Body Language

Pay close attention to the body language of both dogs. Typical signs of an aggressive response are a prolonged stare, teeth baring, hair standing on the dog’s back, growling or a stiff-legged gait. If either dog exhibits this body language, interrupt their interaction by getting each dog interested in something else. It’s important to be patient and not force the dogs to interact.

Reward the Dogs

A little positive reinforcement never hurts. If and when the dogs warm up to each other, reward their good behavior with a treat. Be positive and calm when interacting with both dogs. If they can associate a calm, positive environment and the reward of treats with one another, you’ll be well on your way.

Introducing a New Dog to Cats

If you’re bringing a dog into a cat’s household, you’ll need to give them time to get adjusted to each other. It’s also important to keep their personalities in mind. An easy-going, friendly cat will most likely adjust easier than a territorial, aggressive cat. You need to designate a safe space in your home for your cat when you bring the new dog home. You can use a baby gate to block off areas for your resident cat. Also keep their litter box, food and water in a space that’s separate from the dog. Read through on article on introducing a new cat to dogs for more tips that you can use for introducing a new dog.

These are just some tips for introducing a new dog to your resident pets. Don’t be afraid to call in a professional trainer or animal behaviorist if you feel like you could use a little help. Also check with your local animal shelter for resources. For more tips on caring for your four-legged family members, visit our Pet Care blog. And remember, you can trust your Blain’s Farm & Fleet animal experts to supply you with everything you need to take the best care of your dogs and cats.

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