The following article is courtesy of our partner, Banfield Pet Hospital. Used with permission.
You’re a pet lover, so you already understand the many benefits of having furry family members. They bring joy, companionship and comfort to our lives every day. But did you know that multiple pets can enrich each others’ lives as well as yours?
With some exceptions, pets are generally happier in pairs. Two pets may entertain one another and learn from each other while you’re away. Adding a dog or cat to a single-pet household can help reduce the incidence of separation anxiety, which often arises from the fear of being left alone. An additional pet can also help revitalize an aging or older dog.
If you’re considering adding a new pet to your family, here are some tips to help make the transition easier and more successful. Please also ask your Banfield veterinary team for advice on the best way to introduce a new pet to your home and family.
- Consider the type of pet that will make the best addition to your entire family. For instance, if you already have a cat and would like to add a dog to the family, consider a breed with a calmer temperament. If you’re adopting an older dog, consider one who has been raised with or is friendly toward cats.
- Make sure all pets are healthy and current on their vaccinations and test negative for parasites.
- Before bringing your new dog into your home, try introducing them on neutral territory, either at an unfamiliar park or in a neighbor’s yard where they are likely to be less territorial. Many shelters can set up a meet-and-greet between the pet you have and the one you are interested in adopting to make sure they are compatible.
- Make sure to spend quality time with all pets, both reassuring your existing pet and bonding with your new pet. Make sure they get time alone with you as well as time together.
- Give plenty of positive reinforcement for good behavior.
- If behavior problems persist, consult your Banfield veterinarian for advice.
- Considerations should also be given to additional investment in both time and costs associated with food, grooming, boarding and veterinary care.
- The only thing better than one cat is two or three more!