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Posts Tagged ‘new pets’

WE WELCOMED:

  • Atticus
  • Mandy
  • Panda
  • Bentley
  • Lady
  • Rico
  • Kakashi
  • Lucius
  • Lulu
  • Bella
  • Rambo
  • Sugar
  • Cali
  • Pickle

 

WE REMEMBER:

  • Linux
  • Josie
  • Belle
  • Simon
  • Todd

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Take the time to properly introduce your pet to its new housemate. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Take the time to properly introduce your pet to its new housemate. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.    

     Will you be introducing a new pet into your household this year?  If you have a pet already, you’ll want the transition to go well.  Our pets can be territorial and possessive of us; competition for affection, as well as sleeping space and food, is not always welcome.

     Here are some steps you can take to ease the introduction of a new pet:

  1. Choose a neutral space (like a park) to let the pets meet each other.
  2. Place the new pet in a pet carrier, if it is small enough.  This allows the pets to see and smell each other, but prevents one from doing harm to the other.  Also, you can separate pets in the home with gates that allow the pets to see, hear, and smell each other, but not allow full access.
  3. Rub your pets’ coats with a clean, scent-free towel, and alternate between them.  This is a safe way to introduce the pets to each other’s scent, so it becomes familiar to them.
  4. Feed them at separate times or even in separate rooms, since dogs can be aggressive at mealtime.  This may also be the best way to keep an adult pet from eating puppy or kitten food, which would not be healthy.
  5. Supervise their interaction until you are certain they get along, if you do not trust one or both pets.
  6. Ignore them until they calm down, if your pets aggressively seek your attention.  Dogs, especially, should be trained to understand they will receive your affection equally, but only when they behave.
  7. Re-home one of the pets if aggression is unresolvable. Pets may try to assert dominance; even newcomers will do this.  Some “wrestling” is normal, but pets injuring each other is not acceptable.*  In cases where pets do not adjust to each other, a behaviorist may need to intervene.  In more serious cases, the owner may need to make the difficult decision to give up one of the pets.

     *Pet owners are at risk of being bitten or scratched when attempting to break up a fight between pets.  Try yelling “No!” in a loud voice.

     Some sources recommend distracting the animals by throwing a large blanket over one of them and then picking him up, but the owner still risks injury when attempting to remove an animal using this technique.  Using a loud noise to distract the pets may be safest. 

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Original image can be found here on Wikimedia Commons.

This article was originally posted on May 6, 2011.

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