How To Introduce New Fur Babies To The Family
Adding to the family is a big decision, especially when it's not the first time. Whether you're introducing a four legged friend to little ones or furry ones, we have you covered!
Introducing A New Pet To Children
Many kids dream of getting a pet, but when the time comes to make that dream come true, what is the best way to do it?
Before Your New Pet Comes Home
Prep your child!
Let them know how this will effect your lives. As wonderful and fun as it may be to have a pet, it is also a big responsibility. Also let them know that it's good to be excited, but to be considerate. It’s a complete change of environment for your new pet, which can leave them feeling nervous and threatened.
Teach them to be gentle.
Set some ground rules about contact with pets:
- Pets are not toys
- Always be gentle when touching the pet
- Avoid sensitive areas on their bodies
- Stroke the fur the right way
- Never pull on fur
- Don’t touch whiskers or tails
- Don’t touch pets when they are eating or sleeping
Once Everyone Is Together
Before petting, let the dog sniff the child.
Dogs use their sense of smell to say “hello” and find out who you are. Stand still, allowing the dog to sniff around you and the child. As an added caution, you should be careful about offering your hand to smell.
Once your new furry family member seems settled and calm, it’s time to introduce them to the kids.
When introducing dogs and children, it's a great idea to do this outside. Taking the dog on a walk as a family will help your dog avoid feeling trapped. If you’d rather introduce them at home, choose a large room and a set a relaxed atmosphere. Watch to keep everyone calm.
While your pet is still warming up to your family, it's best not to leave babies or small children alone with them.
When Your Pet Gets A Furry Brother Or Sister
Adding a new pet into the mix can leave you with an overwhelming amount of emotions; however, keeping a level head is a must during this life-changing moment! Introducing your dog or cat to their new family member properly is crucial for building positive relationships and safety for all. The goal is to make sure they can live harmoniously and happily together, even if they don't become best friends. Here are a few tips for making introductions.
Planning the first meeting will give your pets a better chance of getting along! After all, first impressions are very important, especially for cats and dogs. Here are some ways to encourage awesome first impressions:
Give your new pal their own belongings!
Having their own bed, dishes, toys, etc. will help them feel noticed and loved.
Not only will they want their own stuff, but they'll also want some space.
Allowing your new friend to have some alone time in a room will help them adjust. Quiet time will calm them down and bring comfort.
Time To Meet
Meet and greets are best when controlled.
Keep dogs on a leash and introduce cats through a pet gate or something similar. Make sure both your new pet and the current pets in the household have an escape route if they need to quickly leave the room!
Let them know how good their being verbally... Treats don't hurt either.
Bonding time is essential for all new relationships, even with pets.
If you're bringing a new fluffy family member around, find some extra time to shower them with love. Despite the importance of this, don't force it. Some pets end up being the best of friends; others merely tolerate each other.