News broke recently that Prince Harry and wife Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have added a new pup to their royal pack. The new dog, reportedly a Labrador Retriever, will be joining Meghanâ€™s original dog, Guy, a beagle.
There are known benefits to having more than one pet:
It is exciting getting a new pet, to be sure, but when you already own a cat or a dog, introducing a new member to the pack can present some challenges. In fact, says Andrea Sanchez, DVM, a veterinarian atÂ Banfield Pet Hospital, introducing a new dog to your original pet isnâ€™t the same as introducing a new cat to your first dog or cat. In fact, each species has its own needs.
For example, cats often need to be kept in separate spaces when a new one joins the family. Slowly they can meet each other.
In addition, you should create a new vertical â€śescapeâ€ť space for your original cat, such as buying a new cat tree or installing some shelving that is cat friendly. This way if your first feline is feeling stressed out, she has somewhere to go to get away from the new â€śintruder.â€ť
With dogs, your best bet is to introduce the dogs in neutral territory. You want to choose an unfamiliar location for your original dog, so that the dog doesnâ€™t act territorial or defend a space where heâ€™s used to spending time with you. â€śMany shelters will happily set up a meet-and-greet between your current pet and the dog you are interested in adopting,â€ť says Sanchez, â€śto ensure they are compatible.â€ť
Many rescues will actually insist that your first pet meet the new pet you want to adopt before theyâ€™ll let the adoption go through. This happened when our dog Gabe died, leaving our female, Sadie, an only dog. When we found Oscar we knew we wanted him to be a part of our family. But it was only when the rescue held a meet-and-greet adoption event at our local PetSmartâ€”and Oscar and Sadie met and hit it offâ€”that we knew Oscar would be coming home with us.
Beyond those critical first meetings, here are four additional tips to keep in mind when adding a new pet to your family.
Hereâ€™s hoping that Harry and Meghan have an easy transition from a one-dog family to a two-dog pack.
When not covering pets or money-saving topics for Parade, you can find writer Leah Ingram hanging out with her two rescue pups Oscar and Sadie or working on her profitable online store called Pawsome Doggie. It sells dog-shaped cake pans and bakeware, dog theme birthday party supplies, and unique gifts and housewares for dog lovers who want to celebrate a dogaversaryâ„˘. Use code PARADE to save 10 percent. Also, did you see my recent Parade Picks piece with 11 pawsome pet products?