Canines generally readily embrace new experiences with support from their humans but even so will need time to adjust to this wonderful change in their life. We recommend that you follow the steps set out below to ensure the smoothest possible introduction into your family routine. The timeline is set by the slowest animal’s comfort levels. The first meetings between the resident animals and your new dog can set the tone of their relationship, so slow and steady is best.
If you already have a canine companion, you would have been encouraged to meet the new dog with your existing dog already. Despite having met before you will still need to introduce the 2 dogs on neutral territory like the local park. A walk can be a beneficial activity to drain excited energy and allow the dogs to develop an amicable association.
If all is fine and the existing dog is not territorial, you should be able to walk them into the home environment together. Be alert to both dogs’ body language and be mindful that they may need some space on their own. Allow the existing dog to have its prize possession and favourite bed. Put the new addition’s bed with the transition bedding and toys in a different area for a week or so to ensure no territory disputes.
It is also important to feed the dogs out of view from each other. Whether on opposite sides of the kitchen bench or in different rooms. Food can be a trigger for even placid dogs so best to be overcautious. The Foster Carer has given you some of the food the dog has been eating to enable you to slowly transition over a week to the food of your choice. This is to minimise upsetting the dog’s tummy with an abrupt diet change.
For at least the first day / night, it is best to allow your cat to settle without adding new pets to the mix. Please restrict the cats’ access to the area you have your new dog in, by closing dividing hall doors or confine the cats to a bedroom. Do not use th