Introducing Your New Puppy

Introducing Your New Puppy to other Animals

This is a frequently asked question, as many pet owners would like to own more than 1 dog. What is the best way to introduce a puppy to an older dog or cat? There are many factors involved in how your older dog or cat will adjust to a new puppy, and each situation is unique and special. Generally, a new puppy is eager and keen to make friends instantly. They are playful, energetic, enthusiastic and sometimes a little boisterous. This, however, leaves the unknown reaction from your current dog or cat.

Often, particularly with a cat, they are not so warm and welcoming. Their home, space, comfortable routine and safety has just been thrown into chaos by an intruder that often times demands your attention, taking it away from them.

It is imperative that you are attuned and sensitive to your existing animals’ needs at this time, paying particular attention to his or her temperament and thus behaviors. Some dogs can enthusiastically welcome a new puppy but still need his or her own space without the constancy of a puppy chewing on his ear. Generally, I recommend making the first meeting a really positive one. I am occasionally asked if it’s ok to bring the existing dog to meet the new puppy on pickup. I strongly discourage this, as your existing dog is not in his comfortable surrounding and the result may not be positive for him or the new puppy. First impressions do count.

I recommend taking your new puppy home and popping him down in the same area as your current dog or cat, and making a big fuss over your existing pet, patting, even offering small treats, and giving him loads of attention to give him the message that yes a stranger has arrived, but he is still very special, loved and important. Watch the interaction very carefully, offering praise and attention to your existing dog, thus reassuring him all is well. Please continue to supervise all interactions for some time, even when you think your existing dog has accepted the newcomer. Stay at least within earshot for some time. Remember if your existing dog is older, with the potential health issues that may entail, he will need time without harassment from the puppy.

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