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Thinking about introducing another pet to your home?

shutterstock_458014720 CroppedHere are some things to keep in mind and how to make the transition much smoother:

There is just something about animal lovers. Every time we see a puppy walking down the street or a cute picture on Facebook, we sort of melt. Understandably so, most pet owners want to bring more of that sweet, unmatched love of animals into our homes, so we think about getting another pet. Here are some tips and things to think about if you are hoping to add another pet to your household.

Your current pet’s temperament

Each pet is different. No breed, type, or age of animal is the same. Each has her own unique personality which must be taken into account when thinking about adding to your pet family (for the sake of the blog, we will focus on a dog-dog scenario although most of these apply to all types of animal). Is your current dog friendly around other dogs that she meets? If your dog is naturally aggressive towards other dogs, you will most likely have a long road ahead of you. Even the friendliest of pets may have a difficult time adjusting to a new pet at home.

Aging and older pets may have less patience for a new puppy or kitten. Although, if your current pet needs a little exercise and a playmate, a young puppy might be the perfect solution. At the same time, be considerate of your current pet’s health and lifestyle. My dog is extremely playful. Any time he sees another dog, he wants to wrestle and play, but he also has arthritis. I have thought about getting him a new friend, but I have concerns that he is going to do more damage to his joints by constantly running around with a new puppy. Whatever decision you make, carefully consider your current pet’s attitude and condition.

Your Own Lifestyle

Sometimes I think that I would have 10 dogs if I could. I have always felt like we humans do not come close to deserving the love of a dog, and I would to spend all of my days surrounded by them Unfortunately, my lifestyle would not be well suited for a large number of pets. I work full-time, and at this time, I am not sure it would be fair to add another pet into my life. My dog is a bit older and is acclimated to my schedule, and we have a great system in place that includes babysitters, scheduled play time, doggy day care, and evening cuddles. Adding another dog into the mix would instantly double those costs, not to mention the additional time I would need to make for a second animal. When I go on vacation, my dog stays with my sister (she lives in a 2 bedroom apartment) and sking her to keep two dogs in an apartment might be too much for her. If you have the time and are financially prepared, definitely go for it. The more wagging tails the merrier!

The Introduction

Your current pet is likely quite comfortable in his castle. The house and your family solely belong to her. She has gotten used to being the only pet and may be very territorial of her space. It is important that you allow the dogs to meet on neutral ground (possibly a few times) before bringing a new pet home. If you are adopting from a shelter, most places will allow you to bring your current pet into the socializing room with your intended pet. This is a great way to see first glances of how the pets will interact with each other. It is also a good idea to take the animals to a large, closed in area to allow them to play. Leashes can make the meeting more tense or more controlled; it is important to use your best judgment on the two animals’ personalities.

A great way to introduce your new pup to your current dog is to first introduce their smells to each other. Introducing the smell prior to introducing the animals physically will greatly improve your chances of a successful meeting. The pets should be separated via room and/or crate. The animals should not be able to see each other. Start by introducing their smells to each other by placing an object, like a blanket or cloth toy, from each in the others crate. This will allow each of the dogs to spend time getting acclimated to a new animal’s smell. The next step would be to allow each dog to roam the house separately so they can get used another animal smell in the house. Allow the new pet  to roam the house on her own first since the current pet’s smell is already present in the house. After you put the new pet securely away, let your current pet roam the house and get used to the smell of a new dog in her territory.

After your smell test, take the animals to a neutral area to meet. After spending time getting to know each other via smell, this meeting will be more like two old friends getting together for coffee rather than two strangers rear ending each other on the highway. If you are moving forward with an additional pet, Pet Assure wishes you best of luck, and we hope that you enjoy your growing family.

Our pet plans cover as many pets in your household to help with those costly vet bills. Get a price quote and start saving for all of your pets today!

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