If you have other pets, make sure to introduce your new friend slowly. It can be a really good idea to keep them separated, but allow them to see and smell each other, for a short period of time. Cats especially can have a hard time with a new dog or cat so make sure you help your feline by giving him or her an adjustment period. If you are adopting from a shelter, you might see if the shelter will let you bring your whole family, pets included, for an introduction on neutral ground. This way, the current pets may feel less territorial and not feel like their home is being intruded. A very important thing to keep in mind is that you need to give the current pets the same amount of attention as you always have! If you spend more time with the new pet and less time with the current pet(s), there may be jealousy that develops. This will be counter active to what you are trying to accomplish.
How to Introduce a New Pet
Pets will attempt to establish their own hierarchy, or "who is the boss" situation. You should keep this in mind when the new pet wants to go for a walk, or eat their dinner. The current pet may try to nip, bite, hiss, or growl at the new pet to let them know they are stepping out of place. It can be a good idea to walk them separately for a little while until they get used to each other. You also may want to feed them separately to prevent anyone from guarding their food, or eating all the food so there is none for other pets. If you are introducing cats, make sure there are extra litter boxes around the house. Some cats who are trying to be more dominant may guard the litter box. A good rule of thumb is one litter box per cat in the house, plus one. So if you have 2 cats, you should have 3 litter boxes.
When introducing a new pet and you have children or babies, the most important thing you can do is NEVER leave them alone! Always, always supervise kids and babies around pets. Even the nicest pet can be just fine around kids but the minute the pet feels slightly threatened, it may bite or snap at a little hand or face. Babies make noises and jerky movements that a cat or dog can perceive as a prey animal sometimes. Babies have no defense against cats or dogs. Be sure your baby is in your arms or in a safe place where the pet cannot reach it. Children often get excited around new pets and may accidentally hurt them, the pet does not know they don't mean it and may try to defend itself. Planning, patience, and caution are the keys to a successful introduction of a new pet.
Steps :How to Introduce a New Pet
#Research the realistic compatibility of your new pet being housed with your old pets, preferably before you select your new pet. In addition to predator/prey relationships, some animals can be very territorial and aggressive towards members of their own species. Learn what you can beforehand and you'll have a better idea of how much peaceful interaction you can expect your animals to have.
#Consider the personality of your current pet or pets. Think about how your pet acts around you and around other animals.
#Give your new pet as much time as possible to adjust before meeting your current pet. Moving into a new home is enough of a challenge without the added stress of meeting your other pets. If you can, set aside a room for your new pet to stay in for the first few days.
#Keep your current pet's schedule as normal as possible. If you are going to house your new pet in a separate room to start with, restrict the current pet's access to that room well in advance so the change can feel more gradual. Make sure your current pet still gets all the time care and attention he or she is accustomed to.
#Look for "pre-introduction" opportunities. Give each animal items with the scent of the other animal on them. Allowing the animals to smell each others' scent before they actually meet can help make the face to face meeting easier.
#Introduce animals slowly and for small periods of time until they are well adjusted to the sight and smell of each other. Use a crate, child gate, or a leash to control the animals during the interactions. Try to keep the animal who has the most potential to hurt the other one under direct control, either through a leash or a crate. Give the animal that is more likely to be frightened a safe haven where the other pet cannot reach him or her.
#Reward good behavior. Remember that not all animals are going to be friends, so even disinterest is positive. Offer praise, treats, toys, and affection to promote good interactions
#Supervise closely. Don't just throw your animals together and go watch television. Pay attention to the way they interact during different times of the introduction.
#Be patient. Animals need time to adjust to each other, especially if your old pet is older and the new pet is a baby. It might take months before your animals really begin to accept each other.
How to Introduce a New Pet