It would be great if animals spoke our language. Seriously. There wouldn’t be any discrepancies about when to serve food, “accidents” could be avoided, and you’d generally have a better idea of what your pet is thinking. Well, unfortunately, our pets can’t communicate using our language, and there are times when miscommunications will occur.
This is especially true when introducing a new pet into your home. They will run around, bite, scratch, bark, hiss, hide, or anything else to release their frustration. But, I mean, can you blame them? Imagine being brought into a place where you aren’t understood, and there is no one you know. Pretty intimidating, right? Think of how your new pet must feel. The problem can be even worse if you already have other animals in your home. Here are a few things that will help make the transition easier for you and your pet!
Everything should be as natural as possible. DO NOT force any interactions, it will only cause your pets to resent each other. When your pets are ready to interact, be sure to encourage them in a positive tone of voice. Let them sniff, or graze, or act in any other ways that seem social. After about two minutes or so, remove the pets from each other to avoid any aggression from showing. Body movements can also clue you in about how each pet is feeling. If one is baring its teeth, or if the movement becomes rigid, this is a sign of aggression. Growling is another sign of an aggressive mood. Pets should be removed from one another immediately in these cases and brought back together later for another try.
Set expectations early
Interrupt any squabbles between pets early to let them know that these are not positive behaviors. Feeding bowls, chews, toys, and even sleeping space can cause a rivalry between even the most docile pets. Clearly indicate what belongs to each pet, so that there are no fights over what belongs to whom.
Develop a routine
Change is going to be over stimulating for a new pet, which can contribute to bad behavior. Be sure that walks, outings, feedings, and playtime all happen during generally the same hours. This will create a sense of comfort for your pet.
Things will not always happen overnight. Having realistic expectations will help keep the introductory process in perspective. You can’t force your pet to like you home immediately, and you can’t force your older pet(s) to like your newer one right away.
With these tips, your new pet’s transition into your hope will be seamless. Be consistent, be patient, and watch the magic happen!