Extending Your Pet Family – Introducing New Pets

Teaching new pets to get on with other pets

Extending Your Pet Family – Introducing New Pets

Once you have established yourself as a pet owner, there is no going back.
The joy and companionship of a feathered or four-legged family member is hard to replace.

Many pet owners will start with one animal, believing they are a ‘cat-person’ or ‘only dedicated to dogs’.
But, as pet relationships grow and flourish, the tempation to add to the brood can be hard to resist. That bond between pet and owner is a special and magical experience. Often, as young children grow, they will want their own animal to nurture and love.

If sensible consideration is applied to breed and size, small dogs, cats, fish, mice and birds can co-habit happily in even an apartment or small home. The key is to introduce each animal with careful planning and forethought.

When welcoming a new pet, ensure every member of the family is on the same page with rules and expectations. Knowing the ‘rules’ the pets are expected to follow, means each family member has the opportunity to reinforce the animals’ training.

It is possible to introduce different species to each other in a positive way.
Allow new kittens to sit close to a pet bird, and talk to both animals in a calm and loving way.
Allow them the feel the loving bond of being part of the same family.
Show each animal that both are loved.

Start to slowly form trust between the animals – “we are all family, we are all friends”.
Use enjoyable moments to forge a bond between the animals.
Place the bird nearby while you lovingly groom your cat or dog.
Use gentle movements and a soft, voice.
Follow the experience with treats for both animals and reinforce the happy, rewarding moment.

Fish-tanks and aquariums are a great visual for cats and dogs – it is just like animal TV.
Spend time with your pet, watching the fish and enjoying the colourful movement.
Once again, follow-up with a treat to reinforce their good social behaviour.

On rare occasions, nature may overcome nurture and one pet may become threatening to another.
As a part of their normal introductory training you can use strong voice commands, often supported by an non-invasive tool such as a water-bottle stream, to let your animal know what is unacceptable social conduct.
Repetition and clear commands will soon have your new animal responding to voice commands only.

Existing pets will already know and understand voice commands, so it is easier to teach them to welcome a new family member. They already know the rules.

Always know your pet’s personality and accept when it isn’t going to work.
It is rare, but occasionaly a pet-owner will just have to accept they are the exception to the rule.
Watch for those personality traits and, if you don’t see bonding resulting from your training, it’s ok to give up and try another species.

Check out our product store for a wide range of grooming tools and training treats.

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