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How to introduce a pet into their new home

By Carol Pezzula

So you have just adopted a new pet, now is the time to introduce your new pet into your home.

This can be exciting, intimidating, fun and stressful, all at the same time. Your new pet will need time to adjust to their new surroundings and companions also after being in a cage or kennel for a while, and they will need time to decompress.

Making a smooth introduction will be helpful for your entire family, including your newest pet. If you have other pets in the home, every animal is different so how quickly they adjust to one another depends on their personalities. Some pets may end up being the best of friends; others may merely tolerate each other. 

Always make introductions slowly. Whether it’s two dogs, two cats or a dog and cat, give them a chance to get to know each other from a distance first. Let them get used to each other’s scents and sounds. When meeting face-to-face start with short, calm and carefully supervised visits. Depending on the pets, it may take some time and some pets may still be scared and want to hide for a while, especially cats. Don’t force it, let it happen at its own pace.

Taking care of a pet can be a wonderful way to teach your children compassion and respect for all living things. Always make it clear to children that pets aren’t toys. Animals must be handled with care and treated gently at all times. A new dog or cat can be unsure of small children in new surroundings and their actions could cause them to become fearful and possibly unpredictable.

Young children should never be left alone or unsupervised, with any animal. They should be taught how to handle a new pet, they should not be allowed to poke or handle them roughly. This will not only protect your pet but also your child.

If you are planning on adding a new pet to your household remember to do your research. This will help you choose the right pet for your family as well as information on the best way to introduce them into your home and family.

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