September 27, 2011

Nice to Meet You

It all started with one little pet, and you just couldn’t get enough. You were starry eyed and loved that special time when the little guy cuddled up next to you. You took him to training classes, or perhaps you bought enough dangly feather toys to have your cat occupied for the rest of his days. Things were going so great, you decided you needed another!

When it comes to owning pets, the “more the merrier” attitude definitely applies. But your original pet needs to be in on your plan to expand the fam. If you are planning to adopt from a shelter an introduction is required before everything is finalized. Here is how you can ensure your pets’ first meeting goes as smooth as possible.

First, plan the introduction on “neutral ground,” like a park or a friend’s yard. This way your first pet won’t feel as though someone his invading his territory. With both pets on a leash allow them to approach one another and do their sniff thing.

After a few minutes separate them and have them each complete some simple commands. Reward them with treats, so they will associate the meeting as a positive experience. If things are going well take them on a walk, keeping them side by side.

During the introductory stage do not keep either of the pets in cages. If ever one of them feels threatened they need to feel they have the opportunity to retreat or protect themselves. If pets feel trapped they are more likely to act aggressive.

On Pet No. 2’s first day home have someone take your original pet out of the house for a bit. Let your new pet adjust to his new surroundings. In the beginning they should have separate places to sleep and their own food bowls.

Give your pets time to develop a friendship. Reward them both for positive interactions with one another, with treats or a special rub. If things aren’t going as smoothly as you had hoped you could ask a pet specialist for help.

Do you have more than one pet at home? How do they get along? Have any extra tips for the first meeting?

( Info from:

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