Adding a pet to your family is an exciting decision. Not only is a pet a great life companion and will certainly bring about a lot of love and fun, but they also can be a perfect way to teach responsibility to your children. When adopting a new pet, whether it’s a dog, a cat, or a guinea pig, it’s important to be mindful of how you introduce them to their new environment. This transition can be stressful and lonely for them, so there are some things you can do to help keep them at ease. Here is a guide to help you introduce your new pet to their new home and family.
Set up a Pet-Friendly Area
It’s important to have the basic supplies before you bring your new friend home. Things like food, bowls, a crate, and toys are a great place to start. No matter how much you prepare, you are likely going to forget something. You can use a pet supply delivery service and have your supplies brought right to you. This will allow you more time to take care of your new friend. Did you stock up on puppy pads? Does your new friend not like the toys you bought them? Did you underestimate the amount of cat litter you needed? The more you are prepared, the easier time you and your new pet will have to adjust to your new lives together.
When you bring your pet home, their new environment must be quiet and free of as much distraction as possible. It is recommended that you do not bring home a new pet during a party or event as this can scare the animal and give them a negative impression of their new home. A better option would be to introduce them after any party guests have left, or even better, the next day.
Introduce Them to Your Kids
Bringing home a new pet is exciting for everyone, especially kids. It is crucial that you talk to them beforehand and discuss their behavior when meeting their new friend. When introducing your new pet to your kids for the first time they must be calm and quiet as to not scare the new animal. It is common for children to want to run up and hug animals around their neck, but this is not recommended as it can be a sign of aggression towards dogs and may make them feel attacked. Instead, introduce your children one at a time and have them sit in a chair to elevate them off the ground. Allow the new pet to sniff them out and get to know them slowly. After a while, your child can begin to softly pet them until both are more comfortable with each other. Also, if introducing a dog, make sure they are on a leash so that you can immediately take control of them if need be.
Introduce Them to Your Other Pets
When introducing dogs to other dogs, it is important that their first meeting is in a neutral, fenced-in area such as a dog park. Make sure both dogs are comfortable and allow them plenty of time to sniff each other out and get to know one another. It is also important to make sure that both animals are on a leash. If there is any aggression between the two, use the leash to quickly separate them until they calm down and then start the process again. Once the dogs are familiar with one another, feel free to remove their leashes and let them play. Make sure you keep a close eye on them and look for any warning signals of aggression so that you can quickly and safely fix the situation.
Cats and dogs seem to have an age-old feud. The good news is they can live together harmoniously and sometimes even get along. When introducing the two, you want to give them some time together but separated in their shared space. Having them see each other through a baby gate or a glass door is a good way to get them acclimated to each other without the risk of fighting or scaring one another. When it is time to get up close and personal with no type of barrier, always make sure that the dog is on a leash so that you have control over the situation.
Bringing home a new pet is a huge change for your family. If you follow these simple steps in the introduction process, you will have an easier time acclimating both your family and your new pet to one another. A happy introduction will lead to many happy years together.