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How to introduce

a New Puppy to

an existing Pet

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Introducing a New Puppy into a Home with an Existing Pet
Cass Hope

It was November and I had spent 3 months searching for just the
right puppy. Finally we had found what we considered to be the
perfect one. Luckily she was already 7 weeks old so she could
already be separated from her mother. I was so excited when we
brought her home, our new addition to the family. I made sure I
had all the required supplies; food and water dishes, food, a bed
and a crate. We were ready. The fact that we already had a cat
never really caused me much concern. I figured they would give
each other a good sniff and surely it would not take long for
them to become the best of friends and live happily ever after. I
had visions of our little puppy all curled up with our cat in
front of the fireplace.

Reality hit when I walked into our house carrying a crate with
our newest family member inside. Our dog is a female so I will
use she when referring to a dog. The cat seemed a little curious
so in a moment of obvious brain freeze I took the puppy out of
the crate to introduce the two. Our cat in a split second armed
herself for battle. The hair was straight up making her look like
I had just taken her out of the dryer and she started hissing and
growling as if her opponent was a rottweiler rather than a puppy
that could fit in my hand. The poor puppy could barely walk so
she just fell into a ball and shivered and whimpered. I’m sure
that as soon as we removed the dog and put her back in her crate,
the cat went to her bed and stated plotting a way to have the new
puppy just suddenly “disappear” like getting flushed down the
toilet. She considered herself to be the queen of the household
and it was obvious that there was going to be a battle for the
crown. Boy had I called this meeting wrong! In an attempt to help
you avoid a similar situation I’m going to outline a few pointers
as to what you SHOULD do when you introduce your new puppy to
your resident pet. This information comes from research done
concerning raising a puppy, unfortunately the how to introduce
guidelines would have been much more beneficial if found BEFORE
the actual deed was done.

Firstly the introduction must be done slowly. If possible take a
towel and rub the new puppy with it then bring it home and put it
somewhere that your resident pet will frequent and be able to
smell. This will also work if you take something that has the
scent of your existing pet on it and put it in the carrier you
bring your new puppy home in. When you first bring a new animal
into your home she should stay quarantined from the other animals
until it has seen the vet. Once she has seen the vet you will
still need to keep her separate from the other animals. Allow the
animals to smell the new puppy from under the door so they may
become to each other. After a few days to a week you can try the
introduction but make sure you are close in case you have to take
on the roll of referee. If there is some growling or paw raising
don’t interfere unless of course you feel your puppy is in

If your puppy is being crate trained you can put her back in the
crate and continue to take her out for short intervals to spend
time with the other animal. Make sure the amount of time you let
them spend together is increased gradually. Most importantly
never leave the two animals alone and be sure to flood the
resident animal with love and attention so they feel secure in
their place in the family. This will greatly reduce the risk of
having the new puppy take a whirl in the toilet. If you want all
animals to live in harmony you have to be patient and let the
animals deal with each other in their own way and on their own

Cass Hope has been a writer for over 5 years. Cass regularly
contributes to online and offline publications in a variety of
areas. She also teaches classes in basic obedience for puppies.
She is currently sponsoring this site:

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