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May 23, 2024

How To Introduce A New Pet To Other Household Pets

How To Introduce A New Pet To Other Household Pets

How To Introduce A New Pet To Other Household Pets.

Adding a new furkid to your family can be accompanied by plenty of excitement and daydreams of a near future where your pets can snuggle up with one another. But it’s important to keep in mind that introducing a new pet to your household can be a big adjustment to your existing fur family. After all, you’re asking them to share their space (and perhaps even their food and water) with a new and strange creature – and neither party knows if they can trust the other.

With that, it’s important for responsible pet owners to carefully and respectfully navigate the process of introducing new pets to one another. Familiarise yourself with body language and warning signs that may prelude fights, and intervene before any claws can be thrown, so to speak.

To help, today we’ll be outlining some top tips to keep in mind when you introduce a new pet to your household. Read on to learn more.


Secure all the necessary supplies for your new pet

The first thing you should do (before even picking up your new pet) is head to your local pet store or even jump online to secure a new food/water bowl, litter tray, and any other personal supplies that your new pet may need. Pro tip: you can shop for pet supplies at Pet Circle via Qantas Shopping to earn Qantas Points with your purchase.

It’s also well worth asking around with friends and family to see if anybody may have supplies they’re not using. That way, you may be able to pick up some supplies for free and also help some of your loved ones declutter along the way.


Establish a safe and secluded space for your new pet

Once you have all the supplies you need, it’s time to set up a separate space in your home for your new pet to call their own. Having their own space is essential for not only the comfort of your new pet, but also for making sure that your existing pets feel safe and secure as they process the fact that a new animal has joined them. 

It’s vital that you have this space set up before you even pick up your new pet. That way, they won’t have to adapt to a new space and readapt as you go about altering the space later during their first few days. Simply put, you can reduce the risks of your new pet becoming unnecessarily stressed by making sure their safe haven is ready for them as soon as they arrive.


Make comfortable travel arrangements for your new pet

With their private space in your home now set up, it’s finally time to head to your local shelter to pick up your new furkid. If you’ve never travelled with a pet of that variety before (i.e. a cat, dog, bird, etc.), then think about what you’ll need to make sure that that animal has a comfortable journey in your car.

For instance, you should have an animal carrier lined with comfortable towels, blankets, or other bedding for cats, kittens, and puppies. For adult dogs, make sure that you have a secure seatbelt harness to stop them from moving around too much during your drive. Anxious dogs may try to get into the front seat with you if they’re not buckled in, and naturally this can become hazardous on the road!

As for pocket pets, you’ll want to make sure that they’re travelling in a comfortable and secure cage that’s either being held by a passenger in the car, or is buckled deep into a car seat with a seatbelt. 


Keep any non-vaccinated pets in quarantine

Upon bringing your new pet home, it’s important to note that pets that come from shelters may also bring disease or sickness into your home that could potentially affect your other pets. This includes diseases like kennel cough, parvovirus, or even FIV (feline aids). 

It’s imperative that you prioritise the health of your existing pets by keeping any new pets that may be non-vaccinated or untested for contagious diseases firmly in quarantine. And if you have reason to believe that your new pet may be a carrier of a disease, then be sure to schedule a preliminary vet consultation nice and early so that tests can be carried out.

Once the results of these tests come back, you can move onto the next step of introducing your pets to one another safely and securely.


Let the pets meet each other through a closed door

The best way to get a new pet interacting with your other household pets is by letting them approach one another with a closed door safely in the way. In most cases, it’ll take some time for your new or existing pets to confidently approach the door, opting instead to sniff around the bottom of the door or even put a tentative paw under the door to make contact with ‘the other side’. 

After the apprehension passes, however, and your pets seem to readily approach the door and are even eagerly interacting with each other, then you can likely expect that they’re ready to sniff each other directly and interact in the same space. But don’t just go from a closed to open door straight away either! Instead, try opening the door little by little to make sure that there are no hisses, growls, or swipes. A physical altercation can set your progress back significantly, so do whatever you can to avoid open hostility!


Set up daily face-to-face interactions 

If no swipes or hisses happen through the doorway – wide open or ajar – then let your new pet start exploring their new surroundings in full by letting them have free reign of your home. Monitor them as they walk from room to room, and make sure that your existing household pets give them space if your new pet is indicating via body language that they still need to feel safe as they explore. 

Once they have the lay of the land, then let them interact with your other household pets in their own spaces. Be sure to keep a vigilant watch over these face-to-face interactions to make sure that there’s no territorial behaviour. If there is any aggressive territorial behaviour, then safely and promptly return your new pet to their safe and secluded space until such a time that both your new pet and your household pet approaches that closed doorway again, or the atmosphere has calmed down significantly. 

Throughout this process, remember to feed your new pet separately from your other pets, and ensure that all animals are setting boundaries respectfully. As we mentioned, understanding your pet’s body language can make a world of difference in reading and responding promptly to meetings that are heading awry.

So long as you maintain a healthy amount of vigilance and are mindful of the needs of all animals in your home, then you can expect your pets’ meeting to be warm and welcoming in no time at all.