Welcoming a new pet: Tips you ought to know

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Jordan Walker has always been a big fan of having pets, not only for the health benefits they could give, but also for being real as friends. He loves to entice others to get a pet, sharing pet ownership tips at Coops And Cages and in blogs such as this one. In this article, he will be giving you some tips when introducing a new pet to the family.

A cat or a dog caught your fancy over the pet store window shop? Or maybe you have spotted one up for adoption. So you might be totally excited in bringing it home and letting it meet the other members of your family. But just like a child during his first day in school, your new pet may not be able to adapt to its new environment immediately. Here are some tips to give it that warm welcome without necessarily overwhelming it to the point of it feeling stressed out.

Getting Some Facts Straight First

Now, if you have a baby in the house, you may need to reconsider getting an untrained pet, much more a dog belonging to that of an aggressive breed. Take note that dogs follow their pet owners because they consider these their pack leaders and a new pet may not see your baby as such. Dogs can be compared to people of different nationalities. They still are considered individuals that will have their very own unique behaviours and qualities. Although this may be so, exercising some precaution especially when you have smaller children at home is recommended, and you may be better off choosing a non-aggressive breed.

The Giveaways

The new pet won’t be able to tell you how they are feeling the moment they walk into their new home. The only way for you to pick out its true feeling is reading its body language. Is the new pup afraid? It probably is when this hides behind the nearest plant it sees in your home. Other signs that your new pet dog is feeling agitated are excessive urination, drooling, perked ears, and stiff tail to name a few. Anything that’s out of the ordinary- this could be a sign of discomfort or uncontained excitement. Reading its body language will let you gauge how well it responds to getting introduced to the other members of your family.

The Introductions

Who’s with you inside the house? Do you just live with other pets other than the new pet’s breed? How about kids? Here are some tips on how to help your new pet get acquainted to its new family:

The Kids

When a new pet arrives, the most excited ones are the kids. Your children may have a hard time keeping themselves from cuddling the new pet too much. This could be a bit overwhelming for any pet. Ask your kids to let it explore its surroundings on its own first until it could get comfortable with it. Young or old, teach your kids to respect the new pet. Some parents make the mistake of allowing their kids to play with new pets as if these were their toys. This could easily end up in disaster. If it’s the first time for you to have a pet in the house, warn early on about the dangers of hurting, toying or chasing the new pet. Older dogs could bite when kids make high pitched squeals. Furthermore, your kids could end up encouraging bad behaviour in some pet breeds when not supervised. Some dog breeds for example are genetically inclined to have herding instincts and may try this skill with your kids. If your kids laugh when being chased by the new pup, this behaviour could become a habit since it sees that it gets a positive response. As for the cats, gentle patting or stroking can be allowed, but no chasing similar to that of pet dogs.

The Other Pet of Its Kind

They may look the same, sound the same, and have some same quirks, but don’t expect for both dogs or cats to fall in love with each other and get along on first sight. Getting them to even tolerate each other will not be as easy as pouring fresh milk over a bowl of cereal. Dogs should not be left alone together without the aid of a leash or a crate. The home may not be the best place for first introduction since this could have already been marked by the previous dog as its territory. Letting them meet outside at the nearby park is a better idea, making them walk together while leash are being held by different people. This is a neutral ground where they could get to know each other while doing some fun activity. Puppies may be able to get along with an older dog quicker than another adult dog would because of their jolly nature. Noticed how some adult dogs would growl at pups when these are being hyperactive? This is quite normal, the older dog’s way of teaching the pup some dog manners. Take note of the possible causes of conflicts such as toys and remove these from the rooms shared by the dogs. Eating could also become a competition so let them eat in different rooms for the first few weeks. Cats on the other hand may need quite some time getting used to the company of the other. Instead of walks, letting them sniff the scent of the other while being in separate rooms will let them know that another pet cat is living inside the house. Then after a few days, you can let them see each other but will still need to be separated by a screen. Once their interaction shows signs of great improvements, you can then let them stay in the same room together.

The Other Pet Breeds

Some dogs have not tamed their animal instinct to hunt preys, and one of their common victims are cats. It may or may not happen that your cats and dogs will get along very well. You may need to get a trainer for this. Or if you want to try it on your own, you need to be able to tell the tale-tell signs that one will probably become aggressive with the other pet breed. Crate the dog or put him in a short leash at first then let the cat approach it on its own. Notice if your dog displays aggressive behaviour. If yes, you may need to postpone the routine for another day. Since it’s not natural for them to be friends in the wild, never leave a cat or a dog that have not been properly acquainted with each other alone in one room to prevent them from possibly hurting each other. Always monitor their activities until such time that they become real friends.

Additional Reminders

You, your children, and your pets will be sharing the same home, but you need not necessarily share each other’s health conditions. If one of your pets has fleas, you and the other members of your family could end up getting bitten too. When welcoming a new pet, see to it that this has been checked by the vet for possible transferable diseases. For those who have several pets at home, make sure that the old pet is still getting enough attention to prevent jealousy.

Author: Jordan Walker

Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops And Cages as well as a couple of other pet related blogs. His passion for animals is only matched by his love for 'attempting' to play the guitar. If you would like to catch him, you can via Google+ or Twitter: @CoopsAndCages

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