Introducing pets can be a bit stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. If your new fur baby is a shelter animal, you can get some helpful advice before making the ultimate decision to adopt. Most shelters will help you to find out which animals will do best with another animal. They know the animals well and can help you to decide whether or not your adopted pet will be friendly with your other pet.

Make sure to specify what kind of animal you have and whether it is male or female. These types of details can make a huge difference.

If you are trying to figure out how to introduce pets to each other, check out these tips!

Keep Them Separated

When you start the process of how to introduce pets to each other. You need to start off very slowly to avoid any conflict. You never want to throw pets together to let them work it out. Always follow these specific steps and go very slowly.

Start to introduce pets by keeping them on either side of a door. They can tell another pet is there, and they can smell each other. But they can’t see or make contact.

This is a low-stress way of making introductions without overwhelming or scaring them. This is especially useful for cats as they are sensitive creatures and can become overwhelmed easily.

Feed Them Nearby Each Other

The next step that you will want to take when introducing pets is to feed them while they are still separated. This is best done on opposite sides of a closed door.

Again, this allows them to smell each other and know that there is another animal there. Without the stress of actually seeing or interacting with each other.

By feeding them close together, this enforces the positive feeling that can be associated with the other animal. When they officially meet each other, they will remember that they smelled each other when food was given to them.

In animal psychology, this creates a positive experience that can help when introducing pets.

Always make sure to do this when they are separated though. Or else it could cause a scuffle if they become territorial.

Even after introducing animals, their feeding times should be kept separate to avoid conflict.

Start Introducing Them Face to Face

The next step when you introduce pets is to let them meet face to face. You will still want to keep them separated, but this way they can actually see each other.

It is best to do this with a dog gate, screen door, glass door, or anything else that creates a wall that they can see through. Stay nearby to watch how they react and to step in if either animal appears to be upset.

Don’t be alarmed if there is some growling or hissing involved. This is often a normal occurrence and should relax after the initial meeting face to face.

Allow the animals time to see each other and try to not interfere until one of them gets bored and leaves. Continue to do this on a daily basis. 

Have a Schedule

When you introduce pets, it is important to stick to a daily schedule. This is a big commitment, and you want to make sure that you do it correctly.

Try to have a daily schedule that you follow to get your pets used to each other. Feed them side by side behind a closed door and let them get familiar with each other every day.

Doing this will help them to recognize that this is a normal occurrence and should help them to feel more at ease. Animals can sense your feelings, so the more relaxed you get about their interactions, the more relaxed they will be.

Make sure to take a step back and let them meet each other and get familiar with each day instead of hovering around and watching them constantly. This could have a negative effect and set their nerves on edge as they sense your tension.

Let Them Meet One-on-One

Now that you have introduced your pets regularly and they are more familiar with each other. You will want to take the biggest step, which is to officially introduce them to each other face to face.

This can be an overwhelming experience but try to stay calm and confident. Create a soothing atmosphere that is quiet and calming.

Let the animals out into the same area and allow them to find each other. Try to avoid interacting with them too much during this time. It is best to step back and let them get to know each other.

Only step in if they are showing signs of aggression and start to fight. If this happens, quickly take one away and separate them again.

Don’t be disheartened if their first encounter doesn’t go well. Sometimes it takes multiple tries before they trust each other.

Watch Their Behavior

If your pets reacted when you introduced them, that’s great! Now that they are getting along and living together, you can let them out around each other all of the time. This will further help them to adjust to having another animal in the house. Just make sure that you watch them carefully to look for any signs of confrontation or aggression.

Their body language should tell you everything that you need to know. Keep in mind that not getting along isn’t a deal-breaker. Lots of pets don’t necessarily get along, but they can still live together. There are some animals that just won’t become friends, but they can still live together in harmony.

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