How To Introduce A New Puppy To Your Household

There’s very little that makes me as excited as talking to someone about a new puppy. I mean, who doesn’t love introducing a super cute bundle of fluff to their household?

However, it’s not all plain sailing and one thing that can be super stressful when getting a new puppy is actually introducing them to your other pets.

Some puppies can be anxious, while others can be a bit too forward – and both of these things can have an impact on your other furbabies – but when you know how to introduce them properly, it can make everything much smoother.

If you are about to bring a new furbaby home, keep reading for my top tips on how to introduce a new puppy to your household.

Preparation Before You Bring Your Puppy Home

The more prepared you are before your puppy comes home, the more successful you will be in introducing them to your home.

The most important thing is puppy-proofing your home and getting the right equipment.

Some of the things you should consider investing in if you haven’t already include:

  • A puppy bed
  • A crate
  • Toys
  • Puppy pads
  • Enzymatic cleaner
  • Food and water bowls
  • A grooming set
  • Collar and lead
  • Puppy food and treats

Having all of these things will make introducing your puppy to the house much easier. These things will help them familiarize themselves with their new surroundings and help them to remain calm.

Introducing A New Puppy To Your Household

Once you have puppy-proofed and prepared your house for your new puppy, you can then introduce your puppy into your household.

Every animal has a different personality, and this will be true for your new pup too (even if they are still young) so try and get to know them as you introduce them while also bearing in mind the personalities of your other pets.

Follow the steps below to successfully introduce your new puppy to your household.

Step 1: Getting Started

In my experience, it’s best to bring your new pup into your house in the morning or earlier in the day if you can. This gives them a whole day to get used to their new surroundings before it is time for bed.

You also need to make sure you don’t fuss or overwhelm them too much – moving into a new home is a big deal for this little one and they need some time to adjust.

Allow them to independently explore their surroundings – making sure it’s safe to do so – and wait for them to come to you.

If they come up to you, gently fuss and reassure them to start to build a bond.

Remember to talk softly to your new arrival.

Step 2: Show Them Their Routine

Once your puppy seems a bit more relaxed and confident, you can then introduce them to their new daily routine.

Take them out to the toilet in the area you want to be their restroom, feed them in the area you want them to be fed in, play with them for however long you can each day, and finally, show them where they will be sleeping.

Every owner and their dog has a different routine, but the earlier you get started on it, the better. You can even introduce reward-based training at this stage too.

Step 3: Introducing Children

It is completely normal for children to be excited when they see a new puppy, but this can be overwhelming for the dog, so you need to tell your children to be as calm as possible when they first meet.

Speak to your children before the first meeting and direct them on how they should behave.

When they do actually meet each other, let your puppy approach the children first.

Ask your children to pick a spot and sit there while the puppy explores them and the area around them. It may take a few meetings for this to work, but the more familiar your pup becomes with your kids, the easier it will be.

If your pup shows any negative behaviour, separate them from your children immediately. Keep them separate for a while, and then repeat the process as needed.

Step 4: Introducing To Other Pets

It’s important to start to introduce your pup to any other pets in the household early.

However, this can be the most challenging step because unless you know how your other pets will react, it can be a bit unpredictable.

The best way to introduce older pets and new pets together is by introducing them in neutral territory, where possible. So if you have an area in the home that your current pet doesn’t spend much time in, this can be the perfect location.

Gardens work well, too, in my experience, as this gives them enough space to either move away from one another or express their excitement.

Getting away from your existing pet’s territory will also encourage that pet to react more calmly. It will also help them pick up on your new puppy’s scent.

Scent swapping is a great technique for introducing a puppy to existing furbabies. To do this, you take something of your pups and something belonging to your other pet, and you allow them to smell the item to familiarise themselves with the new scent.

When having multiple pets in the house, it’s SO important to make sure you have enough of everything to avoid resource guarding. So, make sure there are plenty of water bowls, toys, beds, etc., to avoid any fighting.

Finally, reward any positive behaviour when your pets meet by using verbal praise and words of affirmation.

Watch both pets’ body language to make sure they aren’t reacting negatively. If they are, remove one of them from the room and keep them separate for a while before trying again.

You will need to repeat this process a few times in most cases, but don’t worry, that is completely natural!

Introducing A New Dog To A Jealous Dog

If you know that your current pooch is likely to be jealous, you need to tread even more carefully.

I’d still encourage you to start by preparing a neutral territory for their initial meeting. Allow them to sniff each other and interact while both are on leashes, observing their body language for signs of aggression or anxiety.

At home, keep the new dog separated initially, allowing them to explore different areas one at a time. Gradually increase their interactions under supervision.

It’s important to give your existing dog plenty of attention and maintain their regular routines to reduce feelings of jealousy. Offer treats and praise to both dogs when they display calm behaviour around each other.

Again, scent swapping is highly recommended as it allows them to get used to one another in a non-threatening way.

Ensure each dog has its own space, such as separate beds and feeding areas, to minimize competition.

Engage them in joint activities like walks or playtime to foster positive associations.

Patience is key; it may take time for the dogs to adjust to each other. If signs of aggression persist, consider consulting a professional dog trainer for additional guidance.

With careful management, most dogs can learn to coexist peacefully and even develop a strong bond.

How To Introduce A New Puppy

Tips For Introducing A New Puppy To A Cat

You’ll want to bear in mind most of what I’ve already mentioned if the existing pet in question is a cat, but I do have some more specific advice to share.

Start by preparing a safe space for your cat where they can retreat and feel secure. This area should include their food, water, litter box, and favourite hiding spots, providing them with a haven away from the new puppy (which is likely to overwhelm them).

Initially, keep the puppy and cat in separate rooms. This allows them to become aware of each other’s presence through closed doors, helping them acclimate to the new scents and sounds without direct interaction.

Gradually introduce them by exchanging bedding or toys between them to familiarize each pet with the other’s scent.

When it’s time for a face-to-face introduction, keep the puppy on a leash to control their movements. Allow the cat to approach at their own pace, providing an escape route if they feel threatened.

Watch their body language closely; signs of stress or aggression should signal the need for more time apart.

Ensure that both pets receive individual attention and maintain their usual routines to reduce stress.

Gradually increase their interactions, always under supervision, and use positive reinforcement like treats and praise to reward calm behaviour.

Over time, and with patience, most cats and puppies can learn to coexist peacefully and even develop a friendly bond.

The Final Woof

Introducing a new puppy into your house can be stressful, but as long as you are patient and take it slow and steady, you should be able to create a harmonious home.

Follow my tips above to help welcome your new pup into your home, teach them your daily routine, and help them and your existing pet coexist peacefully.

Jade Miller
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