Finagling the complexities of a new roommate situation is difficult enough on its own. When you add one another’s pets to the equation, things have the potential to get even more complicated. Introducing the pets to one another can be a stressful endeavor, but doing it the smart way can lead to a beautiful furry friendship.
Introducing Your Dogs
If you and your new roomie both have canine companions, introduce them to one another before you move them into the house together. It’s best to introduce them to each other on neutral ground before either one of them enters their new living space. Find a nearby park or dog-friendly area where they can meet one another and sniff each other out. Keep them on their leashes in the beginning, but don’t pull back on the restraints unless you see obvious signs of aggression.
Like most animals, dogs are territorial. Introducing the pets to one another in this way allows them to enter their new home together on equal terms before one has already established that the house is their territory. If you’re introducing your dog to a cat rather than another pooch, the process is much different and is similar to the following process described when introducing two cats to one another.
Slowly Introduce Your Cats
Introducing your feline friends to one another is a bit more complex than introducing the pets of a different variety. Go ahead and move into your new living space with your cats, but sequester each of them to your rooms for the first few days. This allows your kitties to adjust to their new home before they have to also adjust to additional occupants.
After they’re a bit more settled in, swap out certain objects from each room so that your cats can smell one another’s scent. The more they get to sniff out one another before they actually meet, the friendlier their first encounter is likely to be. After a week or two, or possibly even longer depending on how quickly your cats adjust, try letting them into the rest of the house together to finally see one another.
If possible, keep them separated by a cracked door or other obstacle to slow the process even more. Be prepared for some chasing, sniffing and even some hissing and swatting when they first meet, but this should hopefully settle within a few days. Unless you’re concerned they are really going to harm one another, let them do their cat thing in their own natural way without too much interference.
Communicate With Your Roommate
After your pets get to know one another and are comfortable around each other, you still want to give them a space in the house that is all their own. Communicate and coordinate with your new roomie about where these spaces are and rules that pertain to your pets. Important questions to answer with each other include:
Are the pets allowed to roam free at night or when we’re away from home, or should they be locked in their separate rooms? How does each of you feel about taking on the responsibilities of the other pet every now and then like walking the dog or feeding the cat? What happens if one of your pets damages the house or other roommate’s belongings? Establishing the answers to these questions in the beginning of your living arrangement can alleviate major issues down the road.
When you’re planning your move, consider enlisting the help of the pet moving experts at Pet Van Lines. We’re here to make your moving experience as stress-free as possible for your and your pet, whether you’re moving across town or across the country. Contact us today to learn more.