The first impression doesn’t have to be the last. But that should not be the case when it comes to introducing your furbaby to another four-legged or a human baby. Even if the first meeting didn’t go the way you intended it to, there is always a chance to make it better!
Remember when you first brought your pet home. They were sniffing around, were being coy, trying to adjust, etc. It took them some time to finally realize it is their forever home. And once they did, there was no looking back.
And if you want to introduce them to a new friend, be it another furbaby or a new member of the family, these tips will help you!
1. It’s a match!
If you are getting a puppy/kitten from a breeder, begin their socialization as soon as possible. They need to learn to be comfortable with any other pet or a newborn baby. The earlier you start, the better they do as they grow up.
And if you’re adopting a pet, then ask their fosters/shelter homes about their background. What is their comfort level with other pets or humans in general? Adopt a pet that is a perfect match for your life.
Dogs have instincts to chase a cat, but they can also be good with babies. So choose wisely.
Remember, this cannot happen overnight & needs a lot of practice & patience on your part.
2. Start slow & steady
Always start slow. Work on your furbaby. Train them right & make positive associations with other pets & babies.
Slow & steady wins the race & if you are consistent with your pet, they will win too!
3. Reward positive behaviour
Whenever you are training them to keep an eye on the behaviour that you approve of, and as soon as they act in that manner, reward! Repeat this process over & again. They will eventually associate the behaviour with treats (positive association) & it will become a part of their life.
And while you reward their positive behaviour, make sure to not appreciate any behaviour you don’t want like unnecessary teething, biting, barking, etc.
4. Playdates & Pet’s Meet-Cute
Playdates are increasingly getting famous for introducing pets to each other. It is a unique way of getting your pet to socialize. There are weekly/monthly pet play dates & pet meets where not only your pets but you will also get to socialize with other pet parents.
This activity allows you & your pet to know more. You will get to share your experiences & hear stories from other pet parents. Make the most of these playdates & let your pets explore & learn freely.
5. Dog trainer
If you are not able to train your pet or if you are facing difficulties, consult a certified dog trainer. They are equipped with everything. From knowledge transfer to the right dog products, they can train your dog with ease.
Dog training will include the basics & extensive commands like a place, sit, stay & even how to interact with other pets & babies in the house. They will also train & update you on how to keep up with your dog’s training.
6. Always supervise
As parents, it is your duty to supervise. A few things to remember when you are supervising –
- Crate training – If you have a puppy & another pet or baby, crate training becomes inevitable. This is a must-have dog product. Only let them out when you are present in the room. You can better supervise the situation.
- Leash – No matter how trained your pet is, if you want to introduce them to another pet or baby, always put them on a leash. Let them sniff & understand, but keep them restrained until it becomes safe.
- Equal attention – Pay equal attention to the pets or the babies. A new member will require extra care, but don’t let your other pet or baby feel ignored. Spend plenty of time to reduce any chances of jealousy amongst them.
These are some tips that will help you with a smooth introduction. Apart from these, consulting vets, trainers & experienced pet parents will be a huge help! Make sure you visit them regularly.
And the most important tip to remember is that no matter what, treat your fur babies with lots of love, care & kindness. Like us, they are also making their way into this world. Their curiosity might get the better of them sometimes, but at the end of the day, they are our goofballs! Have a happy & safe introduction!
Esha Sinha is a seasoned writer who has over the years contributed quality content on various high-profile websites. She has particularly excelled in niches like Fashion, Business, Entrepreneurship, Education, Pet Healthcare, etc. Her professionalism, four year’s experience, and expertise make her one of the most sought-after content writers in the field.