Time to read: 8 mins
Many of us have got a new pet over the last year. Introducing a new pet to your home can be challenging. We have some tips for introducing a new dog or cat to your home this year to try and make the transition as easy as possible for yourself as well as the pet.
Adjusting your cat to their new home
Cats did not get their mischievous reputation for nothing. They are not pack animals like dogs, so they are comfortable being alone. They are not always the most sociable animals and may find new cats in their home to be a threat. They would be considered to be less of a threat if they were the opposite sex, however, this is not always guaranteed.
When introducing a cat, whether it be young or old, it is better to adjust it to its new home gradually. If possible keep it in its own room for 5 days to a week. This room should have water, food, litter box and everything it needs to keep it entertained. The cat should only leave the room in a crate during this time.
Introducing your cat to a new cat
It is best to introduce your cats into your home when the house is calm and there is an absence of loud noises or disruptions.
Smell is important to cats. It is recommended to get the smell of your home onto the new cat. You can do this by stroking your old cats and then stroking the new one soon after. You can also stroke your new cat with a cloth and rub it around the house to get your older cat used to the smell of the new one. Allow the cats to explore each other’s rooms without actually meeting face to face.
Meeting for the first time
Allow the cats to meet in crates so the meeting does not deteriorate into a fight. This allows the cats to get to know each other in the same space that is safe for both of them.
Meeting for the first time face to face can be done around feeding time. Withhold some food so both pets are relatively hungry when the time comes. Place the food bowls in the same room but not close to one another and let them interact. All the while keeping an eye on them. This will allow them to get used to one another but they have a distraction with the food in the room.
Introducing a cat to your dogs
Introducing a dog to your new cat is a lot easier than introducing one cat to another. Dogs are pack animals and, depending on their personality, will be open to accepting a cat into their pack because it is part of their home. Although dogs are not a threat to cats it is important to monitor their meeting to make sure both your cat and dog are safe during the interaction. This means it should be done slowly and in a calm manner to ensure everything goes smoothly
Adjusting a dog to your new home
The dogs being introduced to your home can be old or young. Older dogs coming from a shelter may have a harder time adjusting to the change in their home. Be patient with them and they will soon be an all-important member of your family.
Routine will help your dog adjust to your home in the long-term. Begin the routine as soon as they get home, so they quickly get used to being in your home and being part of your family. Some areas to begin the routine are regulating eating times or going for a walk at the same time every day.
Give your dog space to explore
Allow your pet to explore the house in their own time to get used to their surroundings. In the first few days, start slowly and let your pet come to you. It is important not to smother them. It may take some time for your pets to calm down, but they will come around soon. Keep your pet as calm as possible during their first few days. This might mean giving them a safe space to go where they have their own down time. Their own space can come in the form of a bed or a comfy area where they can go when they are feeling overwhelmed.
Loss of appetite
As part of their new adjustment your pet might lose their appetite and not eat the food in their bowl. If this concerns you, you can give them a treat that they would enjoy. This could be chicken for a dog or some tuna for your cat. If they still do not eat this and the issue carries on you can take them to their vet for a check-up. If you have any questions you can call the Scratch & Patch Careline where they can also all your pet related questions.
When changing your dog’s food, they may experience stomach problems and it could cause diarrhoea. This change in diet tends not to be long term and your dogs should soon adapt. If it continues you should take your pet to the vet to get a check-up.
It can be an exciting time to introduce a new furry member to your family. Although it can be an adjustment it is worth it, and you have a life-long friend. If you are looking to insure the new pets have a look at our wide range of cover levels to find cover that suits you and your pet’s needs. Be sure to look at our multi pet offers where you could get a discount when insuring more than one pet.