Introducing your dog to other pets:
It’s no surprise for pet owners to share their joy with more than one pet. Many dogs live in harmony with other animals in the home such as cats, rabbits, and birds. However other dogs may not live so peacefully in accordance with other pets.
If they did not previously live with other animals in the past, it may be more difficult for them to adjust so there are several steps to keep in mind when introducing your dog to pets in the home. For example, if a puppy was raised with cats, he or she is less likely to prey on them or chase them as an adult dog.
When introducing your dog to other household pets, it’s important to watch for certain behaviors in your dog. Why is this important? Because specific indicators may show your dog is not compatible with other animals. For instance, if your dog is overly possessive over food, toys or chew toys that’s not a good sign. When you walk your dog, does he or she chase squirrels, rats or rabbits? When your dog is excited does he or she become uncontrollable? Does your dog listen? When you walk your dog, does he or she stare at other animals and even stalk them?
If you’ve answered these questions truthfully and realize your dog is capable of living with another housepet, experts recommend proceeding with caution when introducing your dog to pets. The first recommendation in introducing your dog to other pets is keeping the small pet in a cage behind a secure date and have your dog on a leash. When introducing your dog to other pets, have tasty treats such as liver or chicken within reach for your dog. The purpose is to keep your dog relaxed and focused on you for several minutes. The dog needs to remain calm; if he or she is not calm it’s time to repeat this step. If your dog is calm, congrats! You’re ready to proceed to the next step in introducing your dog to other pets.
Next, your small pet should be in one room and a family member or friend should be with the pet. The dog should come into the room and remain by the door. As you sit on the floor close to the dog, keep his or her interest. Stroke him and help him relax and ensure the dog is focused on you.
Then, the small pet should walk within a few feet of you and your dog. When introducing your dog to other pets you’ll want the dog to look at the small pet and then remain focused on you. Experts also recommend using treats to keep the dog calm and relaxed.
You’ll want to move the dog one to two feet closer to the pet as you introduce your dog to other pets. The dog should remain calm for a few minutes while looking at the pet while remaining a sense of calmness. Next, while introducing your pet to other dogs you’ll want the dog to move freely in the room by remaining calm and relaxed. During this time if your small pet starts approaching the dog, it’s important for the other person to remove the pet away. The purpose is to avoid having the two pets sniff each other while the dog is close to you with treats around!
As you stand up and allow the dog to move to the end of his leash, while introducing your dog to other pets you’ll want to ensure he pays attention to you. It’s okay for the two animals to sniff noses while keeping the dog’s leash loose so he doesn’t feel restrained. Your dog may start lunging at the animal so you’ll need to stay alert to pull on the leash before contact is made. Another word of caution: you may want your dog to wear a muzzle when introducing your dog to other pets. This will prevent any unwanted and unexpected bites.
Eventually you’ll want the animals to interact more freely but this also includes supervision. Keep your dog crated or confined from the other pet when you’re not around until time has elapsed and you have officially introduced your dog to other pets without any problems.
At The Dog Bowl, nothing is more important than your pets’ health and well being. For more information about introducing your dog to other pets contact your local pet trainer; also click here to view more information about training and behavior.