Introducing your dog to other pets
Despite the fact that dogs and cats often get along well, there are animals that are better kept away from dogs. An excellent example of such animals are rabbits, guinea pigs (house coffee), hamsters and reptiles, which should always be protected from the dog and allowed to contact only under human supervision.
Introducing a little dog to your adult dog
Your current dog probably had the house to himself, so it may come as a shock to him that he suddenly has to share it with someone. Use these tips to make getting to know your puppy and your adult dog as smoothly as possible.
- Before you bring your puppy home, check that your current dog has the necessary vaccinations so that everyone stays healthy
- Choose a neutral place to meet dogs - one where your current dog has no territorial problems. It's a good idea to do this outdoors, but if your puppy is not yet fully vaccinated, stay in your own garden
- If your puppy has already had his first vaccination (8 weeks old) and the veterinarian does not see any contraindications, take him to the garden, let him explore the area and get used to the fascinating new traces and smells
- Then take your puppy on a leash and bring your adult dog, also on a leash just in case. If the dog is large or agitated, try to control him so he does not hurt the puppy. They'll both be curious about each other, so let them get closer to each other by loosening the leash. Reassure them in a calm tone by telling them they're good dogs.
- Reward calm, restrained dog interactions with gentle stroking, a calm tone and little relish. Even if one of your dogs is overly excited, it is important that you stay calm. Wait for them to calm down and separate them for a while before trying to approach again.
- Keep the presentations short but frequent and make dogs quickly become best friends.
- Allow the adult dog to "invite " the puppy home. Keep both dogs on a leash until your puppy is comfortable with the environment and your current dog calmly accepts him without reacting. Reward acceptance and tolerance with gentle praise and gentle stroking both the dog and the puppy.
- If you don't know how to get to know your puppy with your adult dog, ask for help from a dog behavior specialist and / or trainer in advance. Specialists will be happy to advise you, maybe they will provide a controlled space for the first meetings. You can find a certified dog behaviorist in Poland on the COAPE website
Introducing another adult dog to your existing dog
Don't be surprised if they don't become friends immediately after meeting an adult dog with their current dog. However, don't be discouraged - let them gradually get to know each other on quiet neutral ground outside the home (preferably in a place unknown to both dogs). Properly conducted familiarization is half the battle to becoming the best of friends.
- When introducing dogs to each other, keep them both on a loose leash and let them get to know each other.
- If the dogs begin to growl or bark at each other, distract them and separate them immediately. Wait for them to calm down before making another attempt. Try to come closer to each other each time, rewarding dogs for decreasing tolerated distance between them.
If, after trying many trials, the dogs still don't get along, contact a professional behaviorist.
Introducing your new dog to your cat
The most important thing when introducing a puppy to a cat is safety. Dogs can get very excited around cats, so give them time to learn to get along. If your dog is still agitated or aggressive after several introductory attempts, seek professional advice from your veterinarian or an animal behavior specialist who can help them learn to live with each other.
- Once your new puppy or dog is at home in their new home, it's time to introduce them to your cat. You need to be patient and give your cat time to get used to the dog, especially if your cat has never lived with a dog. Normal behavior for cats when they see a new dog is to hiss or slap the dog with its paw, or to try to run away and hide.
- Introducing your puppy to your cat may be a bit daunting, but your job is to help them calm down in your own company. Make sure the cat or kitten is in a safe place where the dog cannot reach it and keep the new dog on a leash.
- When the dog is calm, reward him or her, but even if he is barking excitedly, stay calm. After about five minutes, take a break, pick up the dog, and let the cat leave the room.
- Let the dog and cat get to know each other in short sessions of several minutes, in different rooms, several times a day, so that they can get used to their sight and smell throughout the house. Keep your dog on a leash and distract him if he gets too excited about the presence of the cat.
- Once the animals feel calm and relaxed, allow the cat to leave its safe place, but keep the dog on a leash. Let them get to know each other and you give them lots of love and attention on your part. Remember to stay calm, even if they seem dissatisfied. Repeat this often and in as many rooms as possible in your home.
- Keep an eye on them until you are sure that the dog and cat have got along. Only release the dog from the leash when you are sure that it will not react by chasing the cat. In order for the cat to always have the opportunity to run away when it feels insecure, provide it with access to places beyond the dog's reach by freeing up shelves on a bookcase, window sills, etc.
- Give them their meals separately, so that both the dog and the cat can eat in peace, without the risk of stealing their food. It's best to serve your cat on a different level, e.g. on the countertop or windowsill. This also applies to the water pan.
- Place the litter box in a place with easy access for the cat, but away from the dog (or with a natural barrier - e.g. transition with a flap). It may not sound enjoyable, but a dog may listen to its scavenger instinct and find its contents worthwhile.
- Make sure your cat has plenty of opportunity to chase and track moving toys so that your dog can rest without worrying that the cat will attack him.
Don't worry if your dog and cat don't become best buddies. Cats are often independent by nature and can ignore a dog even if they have accepted its presence. However, over time, most cats and dogs that mix together become friendly towards each other, albeit more on feline terms. As long as the cat and the dog have a separate space for each other with a cat area without the dog's access and they do not have to share resources, everything should be fine.