The Animal Placement Bureau Blog

The Animal Placement Bureau is a volunteer foster care network with no paid staff and no sheltering facility. All of the dogs in our care live with our volunteers and become as much a part of their family as their own dogs. There is no time limit on our foster care system. When asked, "What happens if your dogs don't get adopted?" we are proud to be able to say, "They come back home with us until we find just the right home for them -- NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES."

Friday, May 12, 2006

Introducing Your New Pet

Introducing your new dog to the rest of your four legged family can be difficut, but there are ways to make the transition easier. There is a ton of information available on the internet on how to increase your chances at a successful introduction.

If you are introducing a new dog to a resident cat, the general consensus is to provide the cat with a medium sized room that includes her food, water and litter box. One website recommended feeding the cat and new dog on opposite sides of the door, and slowly moving the dishes closer together (with the door closed, of course), and then, using two doorstops, allow the animals to view each other, and repeat the process mentioned above.

Swapping scents is also a prevalent recommendation. Wipe one pet down with a towel and place it under the other's food dish, on their bed, or in their favorite space.

Removing the cat from its room, and allowing the new dog to sniff around will give the dog yet another way to get used to the cat's scent.

First and foremost, avoid fearful or aggressive meetings at all costs. If these behaviors become a habit, they can be extremely difficult to change.

For face to face meetings, some suggest that you keep your dog on a leash, and have another family member pay attention to the cat while in the same room. Start out with lots of short visits. Always supervise visits and make sure there is always an escape route for your cat.

Some recommend that for overly timid or fearful cats, to place the cat in a carrier and allow the dog and cat to sniff each other or place the dog in a crate and let the cat loose to sniff the dog.

Baby gates are our friends. Use them to keep your pets separate when unsupervised until you are confident that they live safely together.

All good behaviors must be rewarded!

More information is available at these websites:

http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_Cat.html

http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_Introducing.html
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_Intro.html
http://www.cuhumane.org/topics/catdog.html
http://cats.about.com/cs/catmanagement101/a/introducedog.htm
http://www.sspca.org/Dogs_IntroducingDogs.html

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