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|Pet Proofing Your Home|
Introducing your new pet to your current one is only a single part of the equation relating to taking a new pet home. You also have to make sure your new pet is comfortable in your home, which is a foreign environment to the animal. Like humans, animals can experience high levels of stress when placed in a foreign environment.
Pet proofing your home will alleviate some of the stress new animals feel in a foreign place. To do so, use childproof latches on the cabinets and doors that your new pet can easily access, to help prevent them from prying open dangerous cabinets and drawers. Place cleaners, chemicals and medicines on high shelves. Keep trash containers covered, closed or inside a latched cabinet. Move dangling cords and wires out of reach. Finally, keep an eye out for any tails, paws or noses when you scoot your chair or shut a door, to keep from accidentally hurting your pet.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask your vet.
Are you considering adding another furry companion to your family? If so, have you thought about how your new pet will interact with your current ones? Introducing a new pet into the family is always exciting, but it’s important to make sure that the pets you already have are prepared for the new addition. This will help ensure a smooth transition.
Determining Your Approach
Animals are like people in that each one has his own temperament. Most likely, you already have a strong understanding of how your current pet behaves around strangers, deals with stress and handles uncertainty — as you do with any member of your family. Use this information to determine the best approach to take when introducing your new pet to your current one. For instance, if your current pet does not like sharing his toys, make sure each of your pets has his favorite toy handy during the introduction, so the two pets are not competing for the same toy during the transition.
When choosing which introduction approach to use, you should take other factors into consideration as well, such as the breed, age and sex of your pets. All these factors inform how one animal will react to the other. For example, a 9-year-old cat that has never shared her home with other animals might never acclimate to sharing her home with a new pet. In contrast, a kitten that has been separated from the rest of her litter might welcome another animal to keep her company.
Examples of Introduction Techniques
Again, there are several techniques you can try when introducing a new pet to your current one. Use your knowledge of your current and new pets to choose the one that’s right for your furry friends. Here are a few techniques you can try:
Understanding Your Animals’ Cues
Animals use body postures and sounds to communicate their feelings. For instance, if one dog crouches with his hind end in the air and his front legs on the ground, he is inviting the other dog to play. This is a positive sign and typically elicits friendly behavior from the other animal.
However, if the hair on the back of your dog or cat is standing up, that animal is reacting aggressively, and you should calmly distract the animals until you can move them away from each other. Likewise, any growling or hissing sounds from either animal indicates aggression and stress.
It is important to remember that not every animal will be compatible. If your introduction does not go smoothly the first time, try again, slowly, at a later date. If several introductions still do not work, contact your veterinarian for help. He or she can provide useful information or resources to help your new and current pets make a smooth transition.
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Don't take a good vet for granted, that's what I say. I currently live in another state and have taken my 10 year old dog to numerous vets over the years (California, Colorado, Vegas, and then some). Never have I ever received the attention and care I've gotten w/Dr. Hines. Within the past 3 months alone, my dog went to 3 different vets for a horrible and painful skin problem that broke out all over her body.
The first vet: I spent more time ponying up the $175 for the visit than the Dr. spent actually looking at my dog. He performed a woods lamp exam for ringworm. Even without Google or a veterinary degree, I could tell it wasn't ringworm. Thanks for taking my money.
Second vet: "Here's some spray, now here's your bill. Bring her back in two weeks so I can charge you another visit." No tests, nothing.
Between the two, I felt like I got nowhere. No definitive answer on why this affected my dog and the medication given wasn't even for a diagnosed condition. Just some general topical spray. I could have bought it at Petsmart and saved myself the time and money.
Recently, on a visit to Idaho, I planned ahead to bring my dog to the Rupert Animal Clinic. I asked the same questions, had the same concerns and now have different results. Dr. Hines gave me options on what route to take, ran appropriate tests and communicated with me every step of the way (even calling me personally when test results came in). My primary concern was cancer. Our dog is like our child- we'll pay the money if we can keep her healthy and safe. In the future, I've resolved to bring my dog to Rupert Animal Clinic on our annual trip for all of her exams. I know she won't be treated as a little cash cow to exploit an owner's love for pets.