You’ve been anticipating the big day. You’ve spent time preparing for it. Getting the right bed, toys, and maybe some soft blankets. Letting your current household residents know it’s happening. No, it’s not a new baby: It’s a second cat or dog. And how to bring a second pet home can be trickier than it sounds.
The problem is, you need to introduce the new pet and the pet you already have. That can be tricky. Sometimes, pets will take to each other easily, but often, they will understandably be scared, wary and even jealous of each other. It can be a little trickier introducing dogs and cats to each other too, especially if they’ve never seen the other type of animal before.
You’ll want to make sure to consider both animals’ personalities, and plan accordingly. You don’t want them disliking and fighting with each other (though sometimes it will be expected). If you have an aggressive dog, a cat may not work, but an easygoing, friendly dog might welcome a new kitten.
Introduce your new pet to a friend’s pet first to see how they react, before you bring a second pet home. Once you bring the new animal home, rotate who has freedom in the house. One day the cat gets the run of the place, the next day, the dog. This way they can learn to share the home with each other and have some time to explore, too. You’ll also want to keep them separated when no humans are home to keep an eye on them.
If you have any questions or problems on how to bring a new pet home, you may want to consider consulting a veterinarian or an animal behavioral specialist. (You don’t want stressed out animals.) The goal is finding a way to have a happy home.