A new kitten or puppy is a ton of fun — but they can upset the balance of your home if you have existing pets. Your new pet needs time to get used to your home and family – and your old pet needs time to adjust to the interloper. Don’t attempt a face to face introduction right away; allowing your pets to get used to the idea of each other from different rooms and via scent is a good way to start.
Offer a Secure Space
Your new kitten or puppy needs a space of her own; a laundry room or guest bath might work well for a temporary home. Not only does the smaller space allow you to fully “baby proof” the room, it also gives your new little one a sense of security and a place to call her own. Kittens arrive with the ability to use a litter box, so include a small box along with food and water and visit frequently.
Support your existing pet
Your “old” dog or cat will be aware of the newcomer almost immediately. Make sure you to give your existing pet plenty of encouragement and support; praise them when they sniff under the door of the puppy’s room without barking or acting aggressively. Don’t force your existing pet to share food bowls, toys or a litter box with your new kitten until they really get to know one another.
Your laid back dog or cat could instantly accept the new arrival, or could object and even show some aggression. Supervising the introduction and the first few visits not only allows you to protect your new arrival, it also gives you a chance to praise and support your existing pet as they meet their new (and hopefully best) friend.
Introducing a new arrival takes time, but once your existing pets get used to your new kitten or puppy, they’ll come to accept them. If you need help making sure your new little one is fitting in well at home and keeping her healthy, we’re here for you!