If you’re planning on getting a new pet this holiday season, it may be important to consider how the introduction between existing pets and new pets may go. There is a right and wrong way to make introductions, and it’s important to consider how territorial your existing pet may be.
Consider what kind of new pet to get. If you have an older animal, some pets may be better for it than others. Maintain your focus on your current pet. They may get upset or territorial if they feel they are no longer being paid attention to. Make sure that your new pet will get along well with your existing pet. If you have a dog, it might be best to get a dog that won’t be bigger than your current dog. You wouldn’t want a young, energetic puppy growing to be bigger than your current dog, which may threaten them.
Consider the sex of the new dog. Males and females tend to get along better than females and females, and males and males. If your senior pet is a quieter breed, it might work better to choose another quieter breed as the younger pet.
Cats can be less accepting of younger kitties. A senior cat might have a harder time living with a younger kitty, vs. a young puppy. Cats typically get along best if they’re adopted as siblings, near the same age.
Introducing a dog to a senior cat
Make sure that the first few meetings between the dog and the cat, happen on the cat’s terms. The cat has existing seniority in your home, so be sure to contain the puppy for the first few meetings. The cat should be able to approach the dog, and have the ability to leave when they wish.
Keep your dog on a leash during the meeting, so they can’t lunge at the cat or scare them. Try distracting the dog during the meeting with a toy or treats.
Introducing a cat to a senior dog
Much of the tips for introducing a dog to a senior kitty hold true for introducing a kitty to a senior dog. Dogs tend to be more sociable than cats, so they could be more eager to meet the kitty than the kitty is to meet the dog.
Be sure that both pets have their own stuff. Different water and food bowls, toys, beds and sleeping spots. They might share or trade toys at times, but knowing that they have their own space and things can really help the relationship between the two pets. Keeping their water bowls and food bowls separate will encourage less food fights and less territorial guarding of resources.
Remember to continue to give your senior pet the same attention and care that you previously have. This is most important to keeping the two pets in a happy relationship. It will help to keep jealousy to a minimum. Make sure other family members continue to provide attention to the existing pets.