Many of our private sessions are related to conflicts within the household. This includes existing pets or the bringing in or adoption of a new pet. These conflicts have involved both cats and dogs. So what are some things that you can do as a pet parent to minimize these conflicts and have a harmonious household?
If you're bringing a new pet into the household, this could initially be stressful for both the new pet as well as the existing one. Depending on the type of pet, it may be helpful to do introductions in a neutral place to see how they get along prior to adoption. The introductions may need to be done on more than one occasion. We recommend supervision at all times or separating the animals by using baby gates or kennels to ensure safety. Once the new pet has been adopted and is in the household, consider resources in the household and which of the resources might be important to each pet. Resources can include toys, food items, places such as beds or even you and your attention. It may be important to remove some of these items or resources and it is especially important to control the environment and control the interactions so that they are positive. Another thing to consider when bringing a new pet into the home is play style. Is the newly adopted pet a puppy who has lots of energy? Is the resident dog older and less energetic? The resident dog may need time away from an exuberant puppy.
For existing animals that have lived together for awhile and are having conflicts, it is important to work on these issues as soon as possible so they do not escalate. If there are fights, this could lead to needing veterinary care and often, it gets worse as time goes on. Repairing these relationships as soon as possible is very important and will save you time, energy, and money in the long run.