Bringing home a new dog can be an exciting time for everyone in your family. Well, almost everyone. If you’re already a cat owner, your felines might not take too kindly to their new friend right away. You might be wondering “How do I go about introducing cats and dogs?” Preventing an all-out feud is crucial when you bring a new dog in to meet your cats. Here’s how you can avoid any trouble between your dog and cats.
Introducing Cats and Dogs: Consider Pet Personalities
The process of introducing cats and dogs should begin well before you actually choose a pup to bring home. If you’re one of the more than 38.9 million homeowners with cats, you’ll need to think about your cat’s personality. Are they extremely social and energetic? Or is your cat shy and easily scared? The most prominent personality traits in your cat should help guide you along the path to choosing an appropriate canine pal. A very social cat might do well with a friendly, energetic dog. A more reclusive and territorial cat may require a longer adjustment period and do better with an older, more laid back dog.
Introducing Cats and Dogs: Starting the Introduction Process
In the vast majority of cases, your introduction should take place in your home. Here are a few tips for that first meeting:
- Keep the initial meeting brief
- Keep your dog on a leash during the first few meetings
- Teach your dog basic commands like “sit” and “stay” before introducing your pets
- Supervise your pets’ time together for the first few weeks after they’ve been introduced
Introducing Cats and Dogs: Rotate Which Animal Has Free Time
Keeping your dog and cat separated for their first few days together in your household is a good idea. During this time, rotate which animal has free roam of your home. So when the dog is able to come out and roam around, keep your cat confined in a space with lots of perches and stimulation. Conversely, when your cat has free reign of the house, keep your dog in a crate or in a separate room. This will allow each of your animals to get accustomed to the other’s scent in a space where they feel safe.
Ask for Help
Are you thinking about getting a canine companion for your cat? Make sure you take these tips into account before their first introduction. And if you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to take them to your veterinarian.
You don’t need to wait for an emergency to become familiar with our veterinary services. Get the best care you can find for all of your pet’s health needs. We are more than just an animal hospital. Contact us today or directly call us at 520-888-3177 for more information about our specialty and 24-hour emergency services.