Getting a pet is one of the memorable moments in the life of any pet lover, however, the task of introducing him to another furry member at home, can be a tad tricky. While you family members will receive him with open hands, the scenario can be precarious with the pet you already have at home. The task of alleviating the awkwardness between your new pet and the one that already rules the house is a real challenge. There are simple steps that can be followed to keep this concern at bay.
Introducing a dog to another dog
Take it slow; do not jump headfirst into the idea of a face-to-face meeting on the very first day. Instead, get two dog crates and place them in different rooms that are not close to each other, preferably, you can place a crate on the basement of your house and another in your bedroom. Do not make the dogs meet yet, you need to induce an indication to each dog about the existence of the other. You can give toys to each dog and switch them between the dogs on a daily basis. This strategy will allow each dog to pick up the scent of the other and get accustomed to it. After using toys, you can follow the strategy of letting the new dog explore your house, while the old one is still in the crate, switch this activity i.e. put the new dog back in the crate and allow the old pet to roam around in your house.
The final step is the face-to-face meeting, as the dogs can be territorial, it is ideal to choose a neutral venue like a park or a more enclosed area like your backyard for a face to face meeting. As you did before, let the new dog roam around in the backyard for sometime in the absence of the old one and switch the scenario. Finally, introduce the new dog to your old one and keep a close eye for any sign of aggression. If the dogs are excited to see each other and if the wags their tail and smells each other, you are fine. If the dogs seems frightened to each other, you need start from scratch.
Introducing a cat to a dog
Introducing a pet cat to your pet dog is something that requires real patience from your part. The similar strategy of getting each other accustomed to scent, mentioned above works here too. However, you might have to wait a tad more prior to scheduling a face-to-face meeting. On the big day, bring your dog first into to the room or backyard where the meeting is planned and ensure that he is kept as calm as possible. As the second step, introduce to the cat to the room but not to the dog, let the cat play with you or let him explore anything in the room other than the dog, if the both the parties seems calm under each others presence, you can let them meet each other. Appreciate your dog and make his day memorable by giving him treats. Make it a point to not let both the parties meet without your supervision, especially during the first couple of weeks.
Pets can be unpredictable at times, especially when they are afraid or threatened. Therefore, if any of these strategies backfire, you need to consult a professional pet trainer or animal behaviorist.