Introducing your new puppy to other animals

This is a frequently asked question, as many pet owners would like to own more than 1 dog. What is the best way to introduce a puppy to an older dog or cat? There are many factors involved in how your older dog or cat will adjust to a new puppy, and each situation is unique and special, and no two animal interactions are ever the same. By understanding some of the factors involved, however, we can manage the situation for a smooth transition to a larger family. Generally a new puppy is eager and keen to make friends instantly. They are playful, energetic, enthusiastic and sometimes a little boisterous. This however leaves the unknown reaction from your current dog or cat.

Often, particularly with a cat, they are not so warm and welcoming. Their home, space, comfortable routine and safety has just been thrown into chaos by an intruder that often times demands your attention, taking it away from them.

It is imperative that you are attuned and sensitive to your existing animals needs at this time, paying particular attention to his or here temperament and thus behaviors. Some dogs can enthusiastically welcome a new puppy but still need his or her own space without the constancy of a puppy chewing on his ear. Generally I recommend making the first meeting a really positive one. I am occasionally asked if it’s ok to bring the existing dog to meet the new puppy on pickup. I strongly discourage this, as your existing dog is not in his comfortable surrounding and the result may not be positive for him or the new puppy.

First impressions do count. Make them postive

Plan that first meeting and make sure everyone in the family is on the same page. Bring your new puppy into the room where your dog is and place your puppy down. Make a big fuss over your existing dog, watching the interaction very carefully, offering praise, thier favoutite treats and attention to your existing dog. Have his favoutite toy and play his favourite game with him, offering his favourtie treats often. Provide endless cuddles, pats and attention. This will reassure him all is well, he is still loved and important, even though a strange creature has just appeared. Hopefully this will result in a  positive first impression with him being adored and spoilt. Ignore your new little puppy, making sure of course he is safe and happy. Stay right by your dog and keep patting and praising him.

For the first couple of weeks at least stay within earshot and/or eyesight of the two dogs.  If you go out, it is wise to place puppy separately from your existing animals, in a crate or separate room  Placing pup safely away is especially important if you have more than one established dog. Our dogs, even though valued and loved family members, are still animals and can act instinctively. Please be sensible in this, and dont leave them unsupervised initially, even if you feel totaly confidant they will be safe together. 

A little forethought will go a long way to ensuring a firm, happy and everlasting relationship soon strikes up between your canine family members. Dogs are social animals and greatly enjoy the company of one of their own kind.

Remember if your existing dog is older, with the potential health issues that may entail, he will need time without harassment from the puppy. Ensure he has his own space at all times and can go there to get away from an exuberatn playful little one.