How to Properly Introduce Your Pet to Other Furry Members of the Family

07/28/2016

Adopting a new four-legged friend into your family is such a heart-warming and exciting time. But, if you have other furry members in your home already, you may find they don’t share your enthusiasm quite as much in the beginning. 

It’s an adjustment for animals that have had the home to themselves, and they might not be as willing to share as you think. Luckily, there are a few ways you can introduce a newly adopted pet into the family so you can soon enjoy a peaceful (and playful) home again. 

Choose a neutral meeting point

Ideally, when introducing two pets, you’ll want to find a neutral location like a nearby park where no one will be overly territorial. The pets can say hello and get used to each other while they go about walking. Expect them to be curious because animals can sense when something is up!

Keep both pets on leashes so you can watch their behavior and pull them away from one another if an issue should arise. Let them establish their rapport without too much interaction from you unless it's necessary. Once everyone has met and spent quality time together, you can head home with both pets.

Prepare your home

When you go through the animal adoption process, you'll want to integrate your pets by beginning with the step above. However, it’s not always an option to arrange meet-and-greets depending on the animal you're adopting (cats, in general, aren't too fond of dog parks). If you can't arrange a neutral space, then begin with this step.

Prepare your home by removing items that your current fuzzy friend can be protective of such as food, bones, bedding, and toys. If you are meeting your new adopted pet at the park, remember to do this before you leave because you’ll be bringing everyone home with you and want them to walk into a distraction-free space.  

Next, you'll want to go about business as usual and let the animal explore alongside your current pet. Carefully observe as everyone falls into a routine, and don't let them be alone together for about two weeks. Establish feeding times and best practices that mesh with your family setting. 

Give everyone love

Don't forget to give all of your four-legged friend's personal attention and love because they'll want your support as they adjust to the new addition. But don’t worry because soon you and your fuzzy friends will enjoy the wonderful moments and memories that come with animal adoption.