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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Introducing Your Puppy To Your Other Pets

Introducing Your Puppy to Your Other Pets

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Do you have another dog? A cat or two? If you do, this makes your new puppy's arrival very stressful. Remember that your puppy has just left its mother, its siblings, and its home, so it's already stressed out and scared.

Avoid a nasty confrontation between your pets and your puppy whenever possible. (You know how hard it is to undo a bad first impression!)

Introducing Your Puppy to a Resident Dog
Some dogs will accept the puppy right away. If a dog is easygoing and friendly, it might instantly like the puppy. Some older dogs will even play with the puppy and sleep with it. Other dogs, however, won't accept the puppy so easily. Some aggressive dogs might even try to hurt the puppy, so it's important to be cautious and take things slow. If you live with a dog that's very aggressive, you really should consider not bringing a puppy into your home.

Introduce your puppy to your other dog on neutral territory, like a neighbor's yard or a park. Remember that dogs are territorial, so a dog is less likely to be overly protective if it's out of its home and away from its possessions. When you introduce the puppy to your other dog, make sure they're both on a leash. Once the two dogs have met and had a chance to get to know one another, take them home.

Prepare your home by remove all pet bowls and toys - anything the resident dog might be protective of - before bringing your puppy and your other dog in the house. Keep them on their leashes at first. Be careful not to give the puppy excessive attention in the other dog's presence to avoid making your resident dog feel threatened. Instead of gushing over the puppy, lavish the dog with affection. By doing this, you show the puppy that the dog is to be respected and admired. The puppy will automatically become submissive to the resident dog, and this is good. Dogs are pack animals, and one of them must be the leader of the pack. In order to avoid a power struggle, determine this for your puppy.

Introducing Your Puppy to a Resident Cat
Go slower when introducing your puppy to your cat. Most cats are afraid of dogs, even puppies, so they'll hiss and scratch and try to scare the puppy off. If you can, clip your cat's nails before the introduction, so the cat can't hurt the puppy.

Most experts recommend keeping the puppy out of the cat's sight for a while so it can get used to the puppy's smell first. Keep the puppy in its crate or in another room at first. Let your cat sniff under the door or around the crate. Some experts say you should separate the cat and the puppy for a few days in order to avoid a fight.

When you finally let your cat and your puppy meet face-to-face, keep the puppy on a leash and let the cat come to it. Keep a spray bottle filled with water nearby in case the cat attacks the puppy. Don't allow the puppy to pounce on the cat.

Some cats will hide for a while; others will make an ugly scene. Hang on and be patient. Most cats and dogs eventually become great friends. Remember to shower your cat with lots of love during this period of adjustment.

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