When furry siblings bond with each other
While many pet parents are willing to adopt them, they’re afraid it might upset their older pet and lead to emotional and behavioural changes. Therefore, one has to ensure that one prepares one’s older pet so that she/he is welcoming and warm towards the new family member and not jealous or violent. There's a high chance that — just like in the case of human kiddos — this may lead to feelings of resentment and jealousy within the existing furry child of the household. So, how does one dissipate this animosity?
Aditya Khanna with Jolly
Delhi-based media professional and pet parent Aditya Khanna, says, “Cats are a bit different than dogs and they react to extreme emotions - they will either get into huge fights with the new member or won’t bother at all. Dogs' nature to accommodate and accept helps them to adapt to change quickly.”
Sreetama Ghosh Nandi has five furry babies — Luke, Juno, Squash, Haichi and Mia
Adopting a second pet, when you already have one can actually be quite similar to having another child and prepping your first one for the arrival of a new sibling. Bengaluru-based technical writer Sreetama Ghosh Nandi has five doggo babies - Luke, Juno, Squash, Haichi, and Mia - at home, so every time she got home a new pup, she had to prepare both herself and her canines for the new member and the changes that followed.
“Most (dogs) are not very welcoming. It’s an intrusion to their space. Do not pet the new dog excessively and ignore the existing pet. Feed separately as most aggression arises out of food. Walk them together because it’s a bonding exercise. Also let the older dog growl, do not interfere,” says Sreetama.
Dogs establish hierarchy very soon, so ensuring that there are no quarrels or fights, is an issue that concerns most people wanting to adopt a new canine. Sreetama suggests, “Keep a watch that there is no dog fight, and if there is a dog fight make a note of what caused it - food, toy, human attention - and remove that stimulus. Having said that, dogs teach each other through growls and barks, they snap and show teeth to establish authority. As long as there is no blood and bites, you are good. They will adjust to each other in a month’s time. You must be calm because they pick up our energy. Most importantly, there should be no change in the existing dogs’ routine as it will only make them feel restless.”
Tina Malkani Gholap’s Christmas celebration with her husband Ameya and pets — Scooby and Tutu
The time and space where the new and the old pet meet each other for the first time, has to be selected carefully. Tina Malkani Gholap, HR professional, animal activist and communicator advises, “If you have identified the second pet and plan to bring him/her home soon, start with introducing your current pet to the new one in the new one’s territory first. When not in one's own territory, an animal is docile and will not react aggressively, even if he/she is not okay with the new pet. Once they meet, touch each other's noses, sniff each other, you will understand your current pet's temperament, too.”
Tina with her pet baby
After they have met outside a few times, you can then bring the new one home for some time. “By now your pet knows his ‘soon-to-be siblings' scent. Hopefully, they’ll be friends by now and your pet will be happy to have a visitor. Do this a few times and then gradually increase the time they spend together in your home before you finally bring him/her home forever,” says Tina, adding that this process can take up to a week. “Instead of just bringing a new pet home and forcing your current one to accept him/her without a choice, it is always advisable to get them to know each other first,” she adds.
Start preparing by familiarising in advance
Aditya Khanna, media professional and pet parent to 8-year-old Jolly Khanna, shares a few tips :
- Buying an additional bowl and floor bed beforehand and the arrival with a smaller/similar size will help familiarise.
- Naming the pet before bringing home and taking his/her name in front of your older pet so that the name sound is familiar.
- Keeping the temperament to be cool and composed by not making sudden changes and giving at least 2-3 days beforehand for bringing a new dog at home.
- The best way to keep home dogs for adaptive learning is by fostering a few dogs from friends and family or home boarding once or twice to understand how they behave around other pets before you actually introduce them to a new member of the family.
End of the article
TravelFinding joy in the City of Joy
Celebrities who own beauty brands
Unforgettable Kashmir experiences
Avoid using these things on your face
A glimpse into the world’s coldest inhabited destinations
Bollywood films with strong female characters
TravelSeeking the best experiences that Rajasthan offers
DIY ideas to improve your kitchen's look
TravelThis is how to make the most of your Himachal trip