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Introducing a Rescue Dog to Other Pets

By: Jane Pullen - Updated: 16 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Introducing A Rescue Dog To Other Pets

When a rescue dog is to be adopted by a family with other pets, a little extra care and attention needs to be given to ensure that the new dog quickly fits in with the other animals in the household. This will help to ensure that the new dog does not upset the pet pecking order that currently exists.

The animal welfare organisation or rescue centre will be able to give their experience of the dog and how he is likely to get on with other animals from their knowledge of him when he was in the rescue centre. They may also have information that was provided by his previous owners. It is important to bear this information in mind when giving a home to a rescue dog. It can be stressful to all concerned to adopt a dog, only to find that he does not get on with other animals. This can cause distress to other pets and may result in the dog being taken back to the rescue centre.

Introducing a Rescue Dog to Other Dogs

Dogs are pack animals and are usually very happy to live with other dogs, particularly when all the dogs are neutered. It is important to watch the dogs together, particularly in the first few days, to ensure that they get on well and that there is no growling or fighting. Dogs are often robust with their play and boisterous 'rough and tumble' games should not be mistaken for real fighting.

Introducing a Rescue Dog to Cats

Care must be taken when introducing a rescue dog to cats. Often a dog's reaction to cats will be unknown until they meet for the first time. A dog, therefore, should be supervised and watched for any signs of wanting to chase the cat. A dog that chases and tries to attack a cat can present a great concern to a family. One of the risks, besides him catching and injuring the cat, is that he may frighten the cat so it leaves home. This can be very distressing and is obviously best avoided. Careful monitoring of a dog's reaction to pet cats within the household is very important.

Introducing a Rescue Dog to Small Animals

Dogs won't present a risk to small animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs as long as they are safely in a cage or run. Many dogs have the natural instinct to chase small animals and therefore they should never be left with a rabbit or other pet unsupervised. A rescue dog should also be trained not to 'worry' a small animal in its cage. This includes stopping him from scratching or pulling at a cage door or run.

Making the Other Animals Feel Special

As well as ensuring that a rescue dog is given plenty of love and reassurance, it is important to ensure that the other animals don't feel that their place in the home is being usurped. As such, making sure that all the pets within the household are given a little extra care and attention will ensure that they are all confident with their position in the household and know that they are valued pets. Giving this little bit of extra attention can help to reduce the possibility of any problems arising through the introduction of a new pet.

A rescue dog will soon get to know the other animals in his household and they will bond together. A natural pecking order will be formed and it is important to let the pets find their own place in this order. Very often a rescue dog will fit into a household quickly and easily and will soon become a much loved and valued pet.

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