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How To Introduce Pets When Moving In

As a pet-friendly community, The Quad on Delaware has many residents who live with dogs or cats. When you get a new pet, you may be excited to welcome it to your apartment. But remember, just as you would need time to introduce yourself to new roommates, your pet needs time to adjust to its surroundings and other dogs or cats.

Taking the time to set up a deliberate process for introducing your pet will increase the chances it feels comfortable and settles in quickly. Here’s our advice for accomplishing each critical stage of your pet’s introduction to your apartment, roommates, and other pets.

Introducing A Dog Or Cat To A New Home

When you move to off campus housing near UMN, you know what to expect in terms of furnishings, location, and amenities. But your pet doesn’t have that advantageous foresight. That’s why it’s important to take things slow.

When you introduce a pet to a new home, watch for cues as to how it’s feeling. If it seems timid and is moving slowly, don’t force it around. Instead, stay close, but don’t hover, and let it explore the apartment. Keep your roommates or other pets at a distance for right now, and avoid sudden movements or noises that may startle your pet.

Once your dog or cat trusts your apartment is a safe space, it’ll let down its guard and feel at home.

First Time Meeting Roommates & Other Pets

In terms of how to introduce cats or dogs to new people or other pets, safety is the paramount consideration. It’s tempting to pull out your phone in the hope of catching some cute, shareable moments for Instagram or Snapchat, but instead, stay focused and ready to control the animal in case the introductions go badly. It’s difficult to get inside the head of a dog or cat, so while you might think the animal is relaxed, in reality, it could be scared or irritated and ready to bite or scratch whoever intrudes its space.
When a roommate or pet meets your dog or cat for the first time, let the new animal walk up to the others. This way, your pet has a curious rather than defensive posture. Make the introductions one at at time, and don’t mix species right away. If other dogs and cats live in the home already, introduce your pet to them separately, beginning with pets that are the same species. And remember to spread around your affections evenly to avoid making your current pets jealous or new pet feel bullied.

If one introduction goes well, proceed to the next one. But if things go badly, don’t assume a second attempt right away would be different. Instead, take a break and keep the animal calm until you’re ready to try again. This process shouldn’t be rushed, so it’s fine to spread the introductions over several days. In the meantime, have your roommates or other pets give your new pet a wide berth.

Building Long-Term Relationships Between Pets

The purpose of making first-time introductions between pets is to prevent them from transforming your luxurious student housing into a war zone, or if they’re neighbors, avoid them hollering at each other from the windows. But once the initial greetings are out of the way, your job is to set the stage for a long-term relationship between the pets.When introducing two dogs, take them out for walks together in neutral territory. They may try to size each other up, so keep them on leashes and watch for signs of aggression. A little barking or growling is nothing to worry about, but lunging at each other is a sign it’s time to separate them for awhile. As the owner, you should always remain calm around your dog. If they sense fear from you, they could become defensive on your behalf. So even if you’re freaked out, don’t show it! Meanwhile, if you’re persistent in walking the dogs together, they’ll eventually be comfortable enough to accept one another into their respective territories.

Alternatively, it’s a delicate dance to introduce a dog to a cat. The dog is usually larger than the cat, while the cat may not care and still want to brawl. Out of safety concerns, keep the dog on a fixed leash (never a retractable leash) and clip the cat’s claws. Make sure the cat also has an easy escape route as well as plenty of food, water, and kitty litter set aside in case it needs to hide for a few days.Keep meetings between dogs and cats brief at first. You may have to hold several of these get-togethers over a long period. And remember, you’re not trying to arrange a marriage here, but just make sure the animals live kindly with one another. And you could get lucky with a cat and dog who are best friends and have the makings for a legendary YouTube channel.

Have questions about our pet-friendly apartments near UMN? Contact The Quad on Delaware today!