How to introduce new pets

As the saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Introducing a new pet to your current one can be a bit nerve-racking, but if you follow these simple steps, your furry friends’ nerves are sure to be put at ease.

Dog & Dog Introduction

First and foremost, it’s important to take the introduction process slowly. Have your dogs meet in a neutral place and leave them on the leash so you can keep some distance between them. However, allow them a little freedom to maneuver. The idea is to acquaint the dogs with each other while avoiding any hostility or discomfort between the two.

Before going inside your house, it’s helpful to have the dogs spend some time in your yard. To start, keep them on their leashes until you notice more relaxed and positive movements from both dogs. Once they seem to be more at ease, drop the leashes so they can interact freely.

Bring both dogs into the house at the same time. Make sure you have created an environment where each has their own space and belongings: food and water bowls, beds and toys.

We recommend supervising play and not leaving dogs alone in the house until you’re sure they are comfortable with one another. Be patient and in due time, animals and humans alike will feel happy and content in your loving home.

Cat & Dog Introduction

To the surprise of many, it is possible for dogs and cats to get along – and in some cases, even become the best of friends! It all comes down to the steps you take to introduce the two. In this case, it’s important to ensure that your cat has an area and belongings to call their own, including a litter box, scratching area, toys, food and water.

Keep your current pet in a room while the new pet roams the house to get familiar with their surroundings. After this, set up short, controlled meetings with your dog on a loose leash and do not allow inappropriate behavior (barking, growling, hissing) from either pet. (However, do not punish, because each animal will then associate the other pet with punishment.) Bring each pet’s favorite treat and toys to this meeting and end the interaction before either pet gets aggressive or angry. Permit the cat to roam as he or she pleases and reward the dog for listening and being calm. Repeat these sessions until the animals appear to be getting along well. Then you can allow them to roam freely throughout the house. It is recommended to continue to separate the cat and dog whenever you are not present to monitor them.

By using a gentle, thoughtful introduction process, you can create an everlasting friendship between all your furry family members.

You’ve decided to welcome another dog into your fur family — hooray! With many people staying at home, it’s a great time to introduce a new pet to the household.

Although dogs are social animals that tend to love the company of other dogs, there are times when introducing a new dog into the family can be tricky. First impressions are very important, especially if your resident dog is used to being the only dog vying for your attention. Here are a few ways to help your current dog accept your new pup.

How to Prepare for Introducing a New Dog

Prior to bringing your new dog or puppy home, place anything your resident dog might guard in one area. This may include food bowls, bones, beds and toys. Make sure the new dog has a separate area for all of their items. Even if your pet has never been possessive in the past, it’s best to be cautious and avoid putting the dogs in a position to fight over toys or food.

Avoiding clutter is also important; congested areas may trigger aggression between dogs if they feel forced on each other. You may even try using a tall baby gate to keep the dogs’ spaces separated until they’ve had time to get used to each other.

What to Do During the Initial Meeting

For your dogs’ first meeting, secure help from a family member or friend so someone can pay attention to each dog. The meeting should be in a neutral environment like a park. It’s best to avoid introducing the dogs in the house — or even in the yard — where the resident dog may become territorial. Open areas are ideal, as there are a lot of interesting sights and sounds to keep the dogs distracted.

Follow this step-by-step guide for the first meeting:

  1. Head to the meeting spot with the dogs separately.
  2. Try bringing the dogs together and let them greet each other. Human escorts must keep the leashes slack so the dogs don’t feel as if they’re being held back.
  3. Expect the dogs to sniff, circle, play, urinate or simply ignore each other. Let them do what they want to establish a relationship — with as little mediation from the owner as possible.
  4. If the animals try to fight, it’s time to intervene. But don’t pull the dogs away by the leash. Instead, wave a CESAR® Meaty Bites treat over or in front of the dogs’ noses to lure them away from each other.
  5. Keep the initial interaction brief. After the dogs meet, try going for a short walk together.

If the walk together goes well, your dogs may be ready to meet on home turf.

Advice for Bringing Your New Dog Home

After a successful first introduction, your new dog and resident dog can try meeting at home. To do so, start at a neutral location. Walk home with the dogs together and act as though nothing has changed. If you have a yard, let the dogs hang out there for a while as you supervise. When they’re ready, let them in the house.

If your dogs have gotten along well at the park and in the yard, allow the resident dog to be off the leash first. Let the new dog or puppy explore the house on the leash, and if the resident dog demonstrates friendly manners, remove the new pet’s leash as well. If the resident dog displays any aggression or territoriality, it’s best to keep them separated while they adjust.

What to Do during the First Few Weeks

Try to keep your routine as normal as possible. When it’s mealtime, feed the resident dog just like usual. Feed your new dog in a different room, so there’s no stress over food. Keep up your regular walking and playtime schedule, making sure both dogs get plenty of love and attention.

Keep the dogs’ interactions closely supervised for the first two weeks, until both dogs are fully accustomed to each other. Avoid leaving the dogs alone together until you’re sure they’re comfortable with each other. Reinforce positive behavior with lots of treats and pets — CESAR® SOFTIES™ treats are a great training tool!

Watch closely for situations that could lead to conflict, such as fighting over toys or becoming overly excited. Be on the lookout for signs either dog is anxious or uncomfortable, such as growling, snapping, showing teeth, back-hunching, long stares and raised fur. If your dog displays these signs, be ready to distract or separate the dogs to avoid conflict and continue monitoring their interactions. Over time, your dogs should learn to tolerate each other, or even become best buddies. If you still run into issues, a professional dog trainer or animal behaviorist may be able to help.

It’s always exciting to welcome a new pet into your family. Following these steps can help ease the transition for your new pup and resident dog.

Getting a new pet may be very exciting for most pet owners. It is always a joy to have a new furball of happiness. However, your other pet may not share the same excitement as yours. Therefore you must know how to introduce your new pet to your resident pets. For some fur parents, the introduction is easy, but for others, it may take some time before they consider the new pet as a member of their pack. Here are some tips on how to introduce your pets to each other:

Pay attention to their body language

Animals communicate through their body language. As a pet owner, you should know what they mean through their gestures. If you see any sign of aggression, you must pull the pets apart and divert their attention to something that interests them. Knowing your pet’s body language is necessary so that your pets are not exposed to high levels of stress, which may be detrimental to their health.

The bond with a dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth will ever be.

Reinforce good behaviors

If they are relaxed while mingling with each other, give them rewards. Give them treats every time they elicit comfortable behavior around each other. This will keep them behaving in good ways. Animals respond more to positive reinforcements, and this will also allow you to communicate clearly with your pets. Giving them rewards will most likely make your pets repeat good behaviors.

Introduce your new pet in a neutral territory

Animals are territorial by nature. They are wired to protect their territory and their pack. Introducing a new pet in your home may pose a threat to your resident dog. Look for a neutral place instead. It could be a dog park, on the streets, or at the beach! A neutral territorial place of introduction does not force either of the pets to be over-protective. This may result in good behavior for both of the pets since neutral territory makes pets generally more submissive and more relaxed.

How to introduce new pets

Introduce your new pet on neutral territory.

Introduce your pets slowly at their own pace

One thing you should always remember as a fur parent is never to push companionship. Even people do not want to have a forced friendship. Animals — just like humans — , take their time in making friends. Let them stare at each other or allow them to have their personal spaces at home. Just let them be. In the long run, they will get used to each other’s company and, who knows, might even become inseparable!

Monitor your pets progress closely

A s their fur parent, it is your responsibility to monitor their behavior at home. Carefully observe how they behave when they are around each other. Take some notes on how they treat their toys and food. It is expected that they would be very possessive with their belongings at first. Check on how they progress when they are close together, keep rewarding them with treats for good behavior until you are entirely sure that they are 100% confident and safe together.

Animals do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.

Owning a pet is like raising a child. It takes all your effort, money, time, and dedication in making them feel loved and secure. Introducing a new pet means an additional member of the family. The introduction process varies from one pet to another. It may take hours or days and, for some, even months for your pets to fully feel secure with one another. Regardless, it takes patience and optimism in helping your newly-adopted pet to become a full-fledged member of the family!

How to introduce new pets

Dogs are social animals and most enjoy the company of others. Just like humans, some dogs have more outgoing personalities, and others are more reserved. Whether you just brought home a new puppy and are introducing him to an existing dog or you are walking at a park with your dog, a proper introduction is very important.

Introducing a New Puppy to Your Dog

You finally picked out your new puppy and are ready to pick him up and bring him home. Everyone is excited for the new addition, but will Fido at home feel the same way?

It is important to understand that puppies are still developing their communication skills. This means that they don’t understand the rules set in place by adult dogs.

When they first enter their new home, puppies have a lot of rules to learn, both from you and the existing dog. Puppies immediately start looking for someone to play with and when they can’t find another puppy, the adult dog is the next best thing. Your dog may or may not appreciate this! As long as an adult dogs’ behavior is appropriate when correcting a puppy, it’s okay if they growl or grumble at the new addition. This is the way older dogs communicate that the puppy has crossed the line, and it is acceptable as long as the adult dog does not make inappropriate contact and injure the puppy.

Do not reprimand the adult dog for growling at the puppy. This is how dogs let others know that they are unhappy about something. Growling can let the puppy know that it is time to take a step back from the situation and that is a good lesson for your puppy to learn.

To make sure interactions stay appropriate and the elder dog is not overwhelmed, supervise all interactions between the dogs. If you notice that the elder dog is becoming agitated by the puppy, it is time to separate or redirect the puppy to another task before things get out of hand. When you are not able to directly supervise the puppy, he should be placed behind a gate, in an exercise pen or in a crate.

You should give the elder dog a break from the puppy several times during the day; this can be carried out by crating either dog. Periods of separation during the day can take the pressure off the elder dog and give both dogs much needed breaks.

When you are supervising interactions, reward both dogs for behaving appropriately. Make sure your puppy is getting enough exercise, both mental and physical, so all his attention is not focused on the older dog. A great activity is taking both dogs on a walk. Eventually, with an introduction that has not been rushed, the puppy will develop the communication skills he needs to succeed, and your dogs will be great friends.

How to introduce new pets

Introducing Your Dog to a Strange Dog:

It is almost guaranteed that when you and your canine buddy are out on a walk, you will come into contact with another dog.

Always ask the other owner if an interaction with their dog is okay. Some dogs may be timid or reactive, and interactions with them may not be ideal for either dog. If a meeting has been approved by both you and the other owner, you can proceed to let the dogs meet. Some dogs may act differently on a leash than they do when off-leash. This can be due to feeling trapped and that they cannot get away if an altercation occurs.

Once they come in contact, normal dog behavior will likely occur, and the dogs will sniff each other in greeting. Signs that the meeting is going well include relaxed facial expressions, play bows, tails wagging fast, and wiggling their hind ends.

Signs that the meeting is too much for either dog may include yawning, turning their heads away from the other dog, tense jaws, tails held low, shaking, and the hair standing up along their backs. These behaviors indicate the dog is nervous about the meeting, and it is best to separate the dogs and continue on your walk before the situation has a chance to escalate.

Don’t let your dog meet every dog they see on a walk; switch it up and ask for periods of focus on you when passing another dog. This helps prevent Rover from lunging at every dog he passes, including those dogs that are uncomfortable with other dogs.

Dog-to-dog interactions are an important part of dog ownership. When performed correctly, they can be enjoyable for everyone. Remember to always take meetings slow, and if any dog appears to be nervous or anxious about the situation, increasing the distance is best. With well-trained greetings, your dog will happily anticipate the fun that they can have with other four-legged friends.

There are very few things that could break the bond between an owner and their pet, but add another animal into the mix is one of them. The choice to bring a new pet into the household could disrupt the established harmony in your household and between you and your beloved pet. While it can take weeks to months for cats and dogs to get used to new animals, Dr. Victoria Cussen, director of research with the ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team, says that there are some things you can do to facilitate a smooth introduction.

Introducing a New Cat to Your Cat

You may think cats are sure to be hostile when meeting another cat, but they can actually learn to like other cats in their home. "First impressions are very important, so it is best not to just throw two cats in a room together," Cussen says. "If they start off by growling, hissing, or swatting at each other, it will be that much more difficult for the cats to learn to like each other." Separate them, allowing the new cat to occupy a spare bedroom or the bathroom with its own litter box, bedding, toys, plus food and water bowls. "Once the new cat is comfortable, the owner can start to introduce the cats to each other in a passive manner. This means the cats should be able to hear and smell each other, but not see or touch each other," Cussen explains, a process that includes conditioning the cats to associate mealtime with the other cat by feeding them on either side of a closed door and switching the cats' rooms so they can smell each other's scent and belongings.

If the cats have remained calm, you can start to introduce them visually at a distance. "Baby gates can be used in place of a closed door so the cats can see each other but cannot get to each other," Cussen suggests. "Play with or give yummy treats to each cat while on either side of the baby gate. When the cats seem relaxed after these exercises, you can allow them to be near each other without a barrier. Start off with short sessions and gradually increase the amount of time they are together."

Introducing a New Dog to Your Dog

It's best to introduce dogs in a neutral environment, where they can be allowed to get comfortable and interact naturally. "As the dogs approach each other, it's important to closely monitor their body language for signs of stress or discomfort. If you can't tell the difference between dogs getting to know each other and dogs who don't like each other, have someone there who does, like a certified dog trainer," said Cussen.

If neither dog appears to be fearful or threatening, walk them around the residence before bringing them inside. Once transitioned indoors, be sure to pick up toys, chews, food bowls, and your current dog's favorite items to prevent rivalry. Introduce such items gradually over time with each dog getting their own. For the first few weeks, give them toys or chews only when they are separated in their crates or other confined areas. While time apart can help the dogs get to know each other, be sure to provide exercise, play, and mental stimulation to both of your dogs. "This helps to keep stress levels down (just like in people) and relaxed dogs are more likely to get along in the home. Going for walks or to the park together can also help them get to know each other in a fun environment," Cussen says.

Introducing a New Dog to Your Cat

The first step to adding a dog to your household is to establish the age and energy level of your cat. "A young, rambunctious cat that runs around the house will elicit chase behavior from many dogs. In that case, you may want to consider a very mellow dog, or a puppy that can learn to 'respect' the cat from a young age rather than a herding-type dog," said Cussen, adding that while it isn't impossible for any two animals to get along, critical and realistic thinking can held avoid stress for the animals and yourself.

Bring the dog to the cat's territory but pay attention to your cat's body language for signs of stress. Having the animals on opposite sides of a pet gate is always an option when tensions haven't let up. "Don't let the dog fixate on the cat: engage your dog with fun training or play while the cat is around. This will help your dog learn that you are the source of fun, not the cat," Cussen added.

Introducing a New Cat to Your Dog

While feeding time tips can apply as when introducing a cat to a cat, there are some differences when introducing a cat to a dog in comparison to the reverse. Has your dog interacted with cats before, and how did it go? Consider your dog's energy level. Maybe he's a low-energy senior dog that may prefer a calmer adult cat but if you opt for a high-energy cat, provide other outlets for her to focus her energy other than the dog, which may stress him out. You can also try obedience refreshers with your dog in preparation of a new cat. "Two exercises that are important for him to do well when asked are a recall (coming when called) and a 'leave it' exercise," Cussen says. "These skills will help you control your dog if he gets overexcited around your cat."

For the first few weeks, keep your dog on-leash when in the living room. Give him a treat when you ask your dog to come to you or leave your cat alone and he responds. "It's up to you to protect your new kitten and set up introductions carefully so that she feels safe and has a pleasant experience getting acquainted with your dog. Dogs who have never lived with cats are more likely to treat cats like other dogs and try to play with them-keep in mind that a dog can kill a cat very easily, even in play. Similarly, cats who have never lived with dogs will likely view them as predators and may become defensively aggressive. If your dog is gentle and friendly, he may be a good candidate for successfully living with a cat," Cussen assured.

If All Else Fails?

Despite all of the ways to create a harmonious household for all, there's a chance that pets will merely learn to live with each other. "Not all animals will become best friends," says Cussen. If you need extra assistance, you can contact a behavior expert, such as a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB or ACAAB) or a board-certified veterinary behaviorist (Dip ACVB), that can better understand the needs of each animal but also understand the process can't be forced. "Some animals simply cannot live together peacefully," Cussen offers as a gentle reminder. "Chronic stress and tension aren't healthy for people or pets, so it may be more humane to keep them permanently separated in the house or find another home for one of them."

Before adding a new dog to your household, the first thing to consider is whether you really want another dog just for the sake of having another dog. Although sometimes a new dog may work out to be a great companion to the dog you already have, there is really no way to know in advance if that will be the case. Dogs with separation anxiety frequently remain distressed even if there are other dogs in the house with them, and if the dogs turn out to be incompatible the new dog will introduce new problems.

Once you’ve decided to get another dog, you’ll want to make the introduction with a minimum of stress. Here are some suggestions.

How to introduce new pets

Give some thought to choosing a new dog who can be compatible with your present dog. In our experience, conflict is least likely to occur between a male dog and a female dog. Male with male is the next best combination, female with female is the combination most likely to result in conflict. When you choose a new dog, consider your present dog’s needs. For example, try not to bring a very active young dog into a home with an older dog who already has health problems such as osteoarthritis. If you do get a puppy or young dog, be prepared to “protect” the older dog from her. You will have to spend plenty of time with the new dog and offer distractions to keep her from harassing the older dog.

How to introduce new pets

Babies are cute—but they’re stressful to have around. That goes for humans and animals, so when you’re preparing to bring a new baby home, you’re going to need to be mindful of how the change might impact your furry friends.

Before You Bring Your Baby Home

If you have pets at home and are expecting to welcome a baby into your home, there’s some prep work to do before the birth—and the sooner you take care of these things, the easier life will be when the due date approaches.

Pet Healthcare to Keep Your Baby Safe

When you find out you’re pregnant, take your pets to the vet to be dewormed, receive up-to-date vaccinations, and get stool sample tests for parasites. Cats should also be tested for toxoplasmosis. Many pets carry parasites and diseases that seem harmless to them but can be serious dangers to pregnant women and infants.

And shortly before you plan to introduce your pet to your baby, trim your pet’s nails to avoid any potential scratching.

Train Pets Before Meeting a Baby

Long before your baby enters the world, you should start training your pets to ensure they’ll have good behavior around your newborn. Behavioral problems like jumping, growling, barking, or biting should all be addressed.

Usually, behavioral issues arise out of fear, anxiety, and discomfort. And they can always improve, no matter how old your dog is. But, it may take time if the problems are serious.

Avoid Last-Minute Changes

Bringing home a baby can be a shock to your pets, but even something as simple as rearranging the furniture can cause them unease. To ensure a smooth transition, unpack new furniture and make changes as early as possible to give pets more time to adjust to the changes.

This is also a good time to designate off-limit spaces that are only for your baby. That might be the entire nursery or just your baby’s crib. Train cats with a spray bottle and dogs with boundary training methods.

Play Pretend

This one will seem weird to you (and anyone who witnesses it) but coddling a toy doll around the house is a great strategy to prepare your pets for your behavioral changes. When you pretend to feed or put down a fake baby, your pets can adjust to how your attention will shift away from them after your real baby comes home. You can also play sounds of babies cooing or crying (if you can bear it).

Introducing Your New Baby to Your Pets

Doing all this prep work will help ensure a smooth meeting between your pets and your new child, but there’s still more you can do to keep everyone happy.

Say Hello First

Before you bring your baby into the house, greet your pet without your baby present. They will feel reassured seeing you and smelling you. And, if they’re prone to excitement when you return, this will give them time to calm down.

Meet on Neutral Ground

Then, when you bring your baby to meet your pet (or your pet to meet your baby), make sure the environment is neutral territory. For some families, that might be an area in the house or yard. Others may want to meet at the end of their driveway or on the sidewalk.

Maintain Parental Supervision

When they meet, both your pet and your baby should be secured (one by a lease or pet carrier, and the other in someone’s arms). When supervising this meeting, remain calm, reassure your pet, and avoid exciting them with energetic movements or voices.

Even after the first meeting, you should never leave your pets alone with your children, especially when they’re infants. You might think that your pet would never hurt your baby, but accidental suffocation can become a problem when animals cozy up to babies without supervision.

Reassure Your Pet with Quality Time Afterwards

After you introduce your pets and your baby, you might feel exhausted (you probably felt exhausted even before they met), but it’s important to give your pet some one-on-one quality time afterward.

After meeting a new baby, pets can experience anxiety and even jealousy. If you ignore or yell at your pet shortly after introducing them, they’ll associate their negative emotions with your baby. Instead, give them a positive experience to remember.

With a pet at home, it’s important to make sure that you don’t stop giving them attention after you come home with your baby. Resentful pets might overgroom, excessively lick, and have not-so-accidental accidents in the house.

I have an aquarium with some species (guppy, black tetras, neons) that have all grown up. Now I need to introduce new fishes, from the same species, but they are much smaller.

How can I prevent attacks, so that older fish don’t bite their tails?

In most cases, just properly acclimating and then releasing them is fine, this is assuming you don’t have a quarantine tank setup in which you would first quarantine until you are certain they are disease and parasite free and then acclimate them to the display tank.

It is possible for some aggressions to occur and this greatly depends on the fish species. Often times, fish must learn where they fit in the hierarchy and unfortunately this can involve aggression. Small fish like the ones you’re speaking about might chase and nip initially, but it is usually temporary and the new fish will join the existing ones in as little as a few minutes but some may take a few days or weeks to be comfortable.

With that being said, there are some situations where fish should be incrementally introduced to avoid that aggression because the aggressor will end up stressing or actually killing the new addition. This is typically done by isolating the new fish or dividing the tank with a clear partition so the different fish can grow accustomed to each other before they are physically introduced. Maroon or clarki clownfish in marine tanks are one example that can greatly benefit from this. Certain cichlids in freshwater tanks are another that can benefit from initial isolation to reduce aggression.

Also, in most cases, introducing very small fish to larger ones of the same species is a bad idea if the additions are small enough to be eaten. Fish rarely differentiate between a conspecific and a meal, so if they can eat what you add to the tank, they might just do that. Bottom line here is don’t add juvenile or very small fish to a tank containing fish large enough to eat the new ones. They don’t care if you’re adding their cousin, they just see small fish as a meal.

In the case of this fish you’re referring to, all of this should be completely unnecessary and if you are comfortable introducing them without quarantine, I would follow your normal acclimation procedures and release them with the existing fish in the tank. Dimming the lights can help the fish adjust and reduces the activity of the fish in the tank which can reduce chasing and nipping. The next recommendation is debatable because I routinely see advice for the opposite, but I have much better luck in almost every situation, feeding soon after adding new fish. This reduces stress on the fish that were just added and can immediately make the new fish feel more at home. Less stress = less opportunity for illness.