The reality is that new pets brought into the household can create havoc in a household already housing a pet or pets. The existing pet will feel superior to the new pet being introduced which can create tension to say the least. The best way to introduce new pets into an environment that already has pets is to do with care, consideration, and a little je ne saisquais! There is no reason for any pet not to get along with a new pet brought into the house, and helping them get along is definitely possible, especially if the right steps take place immediately. The most important thing that you can do as a pet owner is to introduce both pets in an environment that is neutral. This could include the outside area of your home or in a place that is neutral to both pets such as a dog park. This simple introduction aside from the home turf will create an equal playing field for both pets, so neither pet feels superior. When introducing them, simply sit down with both pets and let them “get to know each other”. This means that you should not intervene unless you sense a lot of tension and you are worried about the safety of either pet. The truth of the matter is that it is much easier for both pets to get to know each other on their own terms than to have a human being try and intervene. Set them close enough to one another where they can see each other and smell each other if needed, but also far enough to where they can be alone if they choose. Then just wait patiently. Watch how they interact and let them slowly become comfortable with each other. Once they start to become comfortable and any tension has subsided, give them both treats. Don’t play favourites, treat them equally right from the introduction. Give them both treats and give them both water bowls that have similar amounts of water and are of similar sizes. The next step is to take them home, travel with both, interacting with both. Again, treat them equally. When you get home, you should already have a bed made up for your new pet. This will create a homey environment for your new pet, and let your first pet know that they will be getting a new tenant. Don’t put up with any tension, and if any starts to arise, punish both animals equally. This equal treatment along with the right introduction should bring harmony into your house, no matter how many new pets are introduced inside!

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