Introducing a New Pet
When introducing new dogs to one another, regardless of their age, it is best to do so in a quiet, neutral environment while both are leashed. This will allow them to see one another without outside distractions. Their first meeting should never be uncontrolled or unsupervised, regardless of how friendly you feel your dog is. Another option could be to crate one of the dogs within the home. This will allow them to sniff one another and interact without causing injury. Make sure the crate is of adequate size and does not allow the dog or puppy to reach through with his nose. The controlled interaction should continue for at least a week, depending on how your dogs are responding to each other, and the length of time they spend together. Keep the interactions short if one dog appears to become stressed or overwhelmed. If one dog is considerably more rambunctious, it is not uncommon for dogs to growl or correct each other. Corrections are verbal and can consist of snapping, but never actual biting or engaging.
When merging cats, some of the same rules apply. It is never safe to put them in a room together and hope for the best. Placing kitties in separate rooms for about a week and allowing them to sniff and interact under a door always works best. Most cats and kittens are curious by nature and will choose to interact with what is on the other side! Some growling may ensue, but no harm can be done. Almost all adult cats will hiss and growl upon first meeting. The cat who has been in the home may become territorial and not too keen on a new roommate. Time and patience will almost always prevail in this scenario. If their time together is stressful, keep it minimal until the behavior begins to improve.
Some pets, regardless of species, may choose to remain distant. This behavior should be respected and allowed as the pet may need time to process the changes. Every pet should have a quiet place of solitude to rest and relax without distraction or feeling endangered. This is especially important when merging cats and dogs. We can all agree that dogs can sometimes be overbearing for cats, and it is imperative that the kitty has a place to escape, even if it is playfulness that he is escaping. The most important aspect to remember is to be patient and not rush it—and definitely don’t expect your pet to make a best friend overnight!
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1929 West Market Street
Akron, OH 44313
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1700 West Exchange Street
Akron, OH 44313
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