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How to Help Your Pet Adjust to a New Pet

How to Help Your Pet Adjust to a New Pet

Looking to add a dog to your family, but worried how your cat might react? Or vise-versa? There are a few steps you can take to introduce your pets to each other:

  1. Start with smell. Allow the new pet to roam around the house, smelling anything and everything. The new pet will smell the scent of the other pet, but they won’t be immediately face to face.
  2. Move on to sight. Once the new pet has smelled around, allow the pets to see each other. Allow for some separation through a screen door or gate. Seeing each other, but from a distance, is a great way to get the pets familiar with each other.
  3. Finally, remove the barrier. Keep your dog on a leash as you let him approach the cat. Carefully watch for body language and be ready to separate the two if a fight seems imminent. Watch your cat for signs of stress and remove the dog if you need to.
  4. Reward positive behavior. Hand out treats when your pets react positively towards each other. Keep an eye on them for the next few weeks whenever they are together as it can take some time to be 100% okay with each other. Continually rewarding their positive interactions can help speed up the process.