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How to Add a Pet to Your Family

When you have a home with pets, sometimes you may find that you have room, resources and love for more! Often the trickiest part of getting a new pet is figuring out how to best introduce them to the pets you already call family. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help transition a new pet into your home and life.

When it comes to dogs, it is best for them to meet their new family members on a leash. Allow them to walk through the home, without the other pets around, to sniff and inspect. Doing this will allow them to get a sense of their surroundings and to get an idea of with whom they will sharing the space. Allow them to take their time. Some pets will need to warm up and acclimate before they will want to play or be social with you or any other pets in the household. Cats especially may hide for the first few days and that is completely normal. They will start to come out, explore and socialize as they start to feel more comfortable.

You may find that the be best route to take is to separate pets and introduce them slowly over several days or a few weeks. Make sure that each pet has their own food bowl and possibly water bowl as well. While this may not always be necessary, this can help, in the beginning stages of the relationship, to keep fights from occurring. Also make sure that any pet coming into your household is up to date on vaccines and has been spayed/neutered. The best tip is to monitor, monitor, monitor. Make sure to pay attention to how your pets are interacting with one another. This can keep bad habits from forming.

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