Introducing New Pets to the Family

Getting a new pet is incredibly exciting but it is important that new pets are introduced carefully to ensure that they feel settled as early as possible. Follow our guidelines to help make sure both you and your pet are comfortable and happy.

Plan ahead for your new pet

Make sure you have everything your new companion needs before they arrive, including their bed, food dishes and toys. You may also consider installing a pet gate if you want to create a separate space for your pet. Planning ahead can help to reduce stress and having their things in place on arrive may also help your pet feel more settled.

It is definitely worth planning your journey home with your new pet. It is best practice for a pet to be in a travel crate to help keep them safe and make them feel secure. Having a passenger sit with your cat or dog, where possible, can also help to keep your pet calm and relaxed.

Give your pet space

It can be very tempting to want to spend every second with your new pet but this can be very overwhelming for an animal, particularly if you are introducing them to children who may be loud or overexcited.

It is a good idea to introduce your pet into one room and let them acclimatise before showing them the rest of the house. This will allow your pet to build up confidence in a relatively small area without them feeling too overcome by the space.

Introducing new pets to your existing brood

If you already have pets, the introductions are key. This can be the most nerve-wracking part of bringing a new pet home but there are a couple of things you can keep in mind to help the process run as smoothly as possible.

  • Introduce the scents before letting the animals meet - scent is hugely important to animals so it is worth giving them a chance to investigate the scents before they meet. Swap blankets or gently rub a piece of material on each animal and present it to the other. This can help them to 'learn' about each other before they meet.

  • Make initial introductions in a controlled manner - keep dogs on a lead and introduce cats through pet gates or a crate and ensure that all the animals have a clear route out of the room if they want to leave.

  • Give them time - it is important to remember that all animals are different and some may take time to feel comfortable around another pet. Don't force them together as this can make it a negative experience and may cause them to lash out.

  • Allow your pets to eat separately - feed your new and existing pets from different bowls in different locations. This will help to prevent conflict over food.

  • Keep them separate whenever they are left at home alone - where possible to do so, it is recommended that your pets are separated when they are alone until you are confident that they will get along.

Set up a routine for your pet

It is important that you establish a routine with your pet as early as possible. This may include feeding them, letting them out or walking them, and playing with them at the same time each day. Keeping to a routine can help to minimise behavioural problems and will help your pet to feel more settled in their new home.

Start training as early as possible

The earlier you start training, the faster and easier it will be to ensure good behaviour. Start with house or litter training as this is one of the most important lessons to get right. Remember that positive reinforcement is the most successful method so avoid getting cross with your pet when they make mistakes.

Insure your pet with Towergate and Healthy Pets

Having insurance for your pet can help to cover the cost of vet bills and will give you greater peace of mind. Our partners at Healthy Pets offer a range of different cover levels to suit your needs and can also cover all your pets under a single policy. For more information visit our dedicated pet insurance page or call Healthy Pets on 01730 230 564 to speak to a specialist adviser.

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