Moving In Together? Here's How To Introduce Your Pets
Whether you're moving in with a roommate or a significant other, you want your pets to get along! But, this can be tricky, especially if you're moving to the other's home, instead of moving into a new place together, as the resident pet has already staked out its territory, meaning a new pet may seem like an invader. If you're moving into a home with a new pet, check out these tips from our Gainesville moving company to help ease the tension and create a harmonious household! Also check out our tips for helping pets adjust after a move.
If this is the first time your pets will be meeting each other, it's best to start in a neutral location outside of the home. Even if you're moving to a new home neither pet is familiar with, stage their initial introduction in a location with no familiar possessions or spaces. A park or even outside in the neighborhood can be a good area to allow your pets to meet one another. If your pet is leash trained, it can be helpful to go on a walk with the other pet and their owner, so they can get used to the other's presence without the focus being directly on them.
It's important to give each pet their own safe space of their own where they can retreat to if they are becoming overwhelmed by the other pet. For example, their crate or a room with a door that can be closed. We also recommend isolating each pet from the other for the first couple of days. Feed them on opposite sides of a door so they can get used to each other's smell without the natural fear to protect their food. Once each pet can eat calmly on their side of the door, consider moving their feeding areas into a shared room. Of course, if there are any behavioral issues, go back to feeding them separately. In addition, some pets are very territorial, so feeding them together may not be a possibility.
You should continue taking your pets on walks together to help them learn how to coexist. While walks are okay, avoid playtime together until you're sure they are on friendly terms. Some pets may become rough during playtime or may become territorial and aggressive if you are playing with another pet. Walking gives them a task to focus on and can help relieve nervous energy, ultimately helping them feel more comfortable together.
You know your pet and when something is amiss with them. Even if you've been in your new home for a while now, it's important to be aware of nonverbal cues your pet may be displaying. If they're lethargic, not eating, or just not acting like themselves, try giving them a break with some one-on-one attention. If your pet seems aggressive, barks or hisses, raises their shackles, or bites at the other pet, it may be a sign that they aren't ready for so much time together. If an altercation does occur, separate your pets for a few days to allow them time to cool off and then begin a slow reintroduction.
Going through a move while having another animal and human become part of their family can be a big change for a pet. Sometimes, pets have complementary personalities and get along the very first day without issue, but sometimes it can take months, or may never happen. The best thing you can do for your furry pal is to support them with love and patience while they take the needed time to adapt to their new living arrangements.