Posted on 12-22-2017
For responsible pet owners, this season is one of the most popular times to bring home a new dog or cat. With that being said, there are a few changes that are going to happen. You’ll likely spend weeks preparing your home to take in a new pet and getting other family members prepared to help out. If you already have pets living in the home, you’ll have another challenge on your hands: introducing everyone. Pets can often be protective of their homes, however, following these tips will ensure a seamless transition into a two pet household.
Prepare Your Home
Dogs are protective of their belongings and their territory. For a successful transition into a two dog household, you want to respect this trait. To do this, you’ll want to start with the basics. You’ll want to keep all of their belongings separate. Such as a new crate, food and water dishes, toys, and a bed. Some of these items can be combined over time, like food and water dishes, and eventually toys will all be combined. Separating these items will help eliminate any unnecessary confrontation between the two pets. Planning ahead will make the transition easier as well.
Take It Slow
When first letting the two pets meet, you want to take it very slow. Dogs will move at their own pace, and it’s important to make sure they’re comfortable during this process for the best results. To start, you’ll want to make sure you’re with an experienced adult and have both dogs on leashes. Meet in a neutral space that both dogs can confidently call home, typically a living room or the main area of the house. Keep the leashes loose so the dogs feel like they are the ones in control of the situation. This initial meeting should be as short as possible, around 15 to 30 seconds. Slowly guide the dogs away from each other and encourage them in a light-hearted tone. This first meeting will let them see each other without getting too close. During the next few meetings, let the dogs smell each other and interact a little more than the first time.
Once the dogs have met, it’s time to let the new pup get used to their new surroundings, without pressure or stress from the other. While the first dog is out of the house, or even in their crate, let your new dog roam the house off a leash. This will give them an opportunity to transfer their scent around the house. Next, let the first dog explore the scent left behind by the new dog while they are in their crate or outside. Do this a few times until the two dogs seem comfortable with each other's scent. Once the dogs are ready to be together you can feel free to let them play and explore without a leash, just remember that you should never leave them alone together.
Remember to reward good and polite behavior and discourage poor behavior to keep the dogs comfortable with one another. If you recently became a two dog household, please contact us with any questions about introducing your pets for the first time.
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