Safely Socialize your New Puppy/Kitten with Existing Pets!
Knowing how to safely socialize your new pets with existing pets is so critical because serious harm can come to puppies or kittens by resident adult pets who might hurt them if they feel threatened. Also first impressions for animals, ESPECIALLY cats can be very critical; if a new puppy or kitten is not introduced and socialized correctly with a resident pet this can lead to a permanent broken bond between the two pets leading to either life-long relationship behavior issues like aggressiveness, territorial behaviors, urine marking or simply not allowing the pets to be friends.
- Purchase or Borrow a LARGE dog crate (size for great danes works great!)
- Put new kitten or puppy into crate for 7-10 days for pet's to slowly and safely get to know each other.
- Spend a lot of time socializing the new pet's between the safety of the cage. 1. Feed meals with one inside the crate and one outside, move the dish closer to the crate each day start at 3 feet away and move as pet's are comfortable with. 2. give treats to pet inside and outside of the crate. 3. play with toys between the crate, long stick toys or wand type toys work best.
- Be sure to ROTATE the pets, letting the new puppy or kitten out of the crate and putting the resident pet in the crate for an hour or two each day to allow the new kitten/puppy to also get safely acclimated to the new house. (be certain to supervise)
- Watch for signs of stress, ears back, hissing, growling, showing teeth. Continue all of the above until BOTH pets will be comfortable near each other through the crate walls before you release your new pet from the crate, depending on your pets this may take several weeks.
- Continue to leave crate up after integrating pets, as this will give a safe place to put your kitten/puppy when you are not home to supervise and at night until you know for sure everything it safe.
- Be patient.
Keep those pets health & happy everyone!
~April Arguin A.S., C.P.N., M.P.H.