The other day I was messing around when I saw puppies for sale from Douglas Hall Kennels. They mainly sell crossbred puppies, which are so cute, especially the little ones, like the cockerpoos and the puggles. At that moment, I suddenly understood why some people rush out and get a new puppy without really thinking things through 100%. Over the years, I have noticed that people rarely think enough about the impact introducing a new addition to the family is going to have on other pets, so I decided to research the subject a bit, and write about it.
The first step is being realistic about what is likely to happen when you introduce a new puppy to the family. It is never wise to assume that an older cat or dog will automatically act as mummy or daddy figure. In reality, your existing pets are far more likely to feel jealous, and see the new puppy as a bit of an imposition.
They are not likely to welcome them with open claws, or paws. However, provided you deal with the situation properly this will only be a temporary situation. Within a short space of time, your pets will learn to live together in harmony. There really is nothing cuter than seeing your cat snuggle up to your young dog, on the sofa, and turn to it to help him or her out when neighboring cats invade your garden. But, getting to that situation is going to take a bit of time.
Puppies know nothing
You have to bear in mind the fact that puppies do not know the rules. Therefore, it is unrealistic to expect them to behave properly around other pets.
Always supervise your puppy
For the most part, your adult pets will show the puppy the boundaries. They will do this by growling, hissing and maybe baring their teeth when the puppy steps out of line. This is normal behavior, and is a safe way for your puppy to learn not to eat out of other animals’ bowls, use their beds or play with their toys.
You should not chastise your adult pets for using these natural ways of disciplining a puppy. However, you need to be on hand to step in should the puppy not listen to these warnings.
If the pup does not take a hiss as a hint, you can expect your cat to take the next step and use their claws to sort out the situation. You do not want that to happen, so need to be on hand to step in and get the puppy to listen and change its behavior.
It is only safe to leave a puppy and cat alone together once they have both demonstrated that they are relaxed in each other’s company. You also need to be sure that the puppy knows not to chase the cat, before leaving them alone together.
Give your older pets some private space
Looking after a puppy is tiring work, so your adult pets, especially cats, need some time away from the pup. Somewhere they can retire to and sleep or lounge in peace. If they want to share their space with the puppy that is fine, but let him or her, decide whether to do so.
To learn more about introducing a dog to your cat just click here.
Photo Credit: Tyler Allen