Have you ever heard of a person being set in their ways?
Well, the same can be said of pets.
As pets age, they get used to their familiar routine, surroundings, and other pets or people they live with.
When you try to introduce anything new into the mix – like a new pet – things can get a little dicey.
In fact, in some cases, the interaction between older and newer pets – particularly senior and younger pets – can be dangerous. This is, of course, unless you do it the right way.
We’ll discuss some tips which will help you successfully introduce newer pets to the senior members of your family.
Tips for a Successful Introduction
Here are a few tips to ensure your current pet and your new one have a smooth introduction and happy interactions from here on out.
1. Take Your Current Pet’s Need into Consideration First
New pets – particularly young ones – are often overactive. Their exuberance for life and for making new friends can overwhelm older pets.
Older pets might start to have behavioral problems.
Another issue is their physical health. Hyperactive pets can easily trip up older pets, knocking them off balance. Or, if the older pet doesn’t like something the younger pet is doing, they might nip at the younger pet to get them to stop.
Sometimes, this can result in injury, necessitating a trip to the nearest animal hospital as soon as possible.
We recommend choosing a new pet with your current pet’s needs in mind.
Is your older pet still full of energy and fairly stable on their feet? Then, a younger pet might be ok.
2. Besides Considering the Age of Your Pets, Also Consider the Size and Gender
When adopting a pet, make sure you find out how big they’re expected to get.
Why is this important?
Let’s say you want to adopt a younger dog. Not necessarily a puppy, but not a dog as old as the one you have at home.
If the younger dog still has some growing to do, this can cause some trouble.
Another thing to consider is the gender of each pet. Opposite sexes typically get along better than two males or two females. There’s always one which is going to try and alpha the other. This can result in fights and injury.
3. Proceed with Caution During the Initial Introduction
The first few introductions aren’t always easy. The older pet might not be excited they now have to share their home with another animal.
Make sure you contain a younger pet. Hold onto them or keep them on a leash so they can’t jump all over the older pet.
If you are introducing a new dog into a home with an older cat, make sure you have plenty of safe havens for your cat. They typically like perches off the ground. This allows them to stay out of the way of the new pet, while still being able to keep an eye on them.
4. Utilize Scent Articles Before Allowing Dogs to Meet
When two dogs meet each other, their first instincts are to protect their territory.
To prevent animosity or fighting, introduce your dogs not by sight, but by letting them sniff scent articles. These are toys or blankets the other dog uses.
This gives each dog the opportunity to understand there’s another dog in the vicinity, which gives them some time to warm up to the idea before the visual introduction.
Be Patient with Your Pets – We’re Sure They’ll Be Buddies Soon
One of the most important things you can do as a pet owner is to be patient with your pets.
Trying to force the situation can result in frustration and even injury – to you and your pets.
We don’t want this interaction to result in having to take either of your pets to the nearest animal hospital.