Introducing a new puppy to your cats

Cat nuzzling puppy on grass

If you already have pets, and are considering getting a puppy, this article is for you. Below, we look at the potential issues and briefly explain how to get around them to ensure that your new dog settles in with your existing pets as quickly as possible.

Pug puppy

Get into your pets’ heads

Without a doubt, you’re going to have to help both parties to understand what’s going on and teach them to accommodate each other. At first, you’ll need to supervise every encounter. To do that, your understanding of cat and dog body language will enable you to see problems coming and step in before the claws come out and fur begins to fly.

Chances are you already understand your cat well, but it’s a good idea to brush up on canine body language before introducing one into your home. You need to understand both sides of the conversation. This page is a great place to learn most of what you need to know about dog & puppy body language.

Black & white terrier in a woman's arms

Use scent to make the introduction

If the breeder allows it, get a t-shirt and stroke the puppy you have chosen with it. Take this home and leave it somewhere your cats can find it. You should also wipe over areas of furniture your cats use with the t-shirt. Mixing the scent of your new puppy in with the other scents in your home will allow them to get used to it. When you bring your puppy home they’ll feel far less threatened by it presence.

Startled black & white cat

Re-train the cat

This bit can be tricky. If you own cats, you’ll know they are very much the boss; they tend to do what they want, when they want. Of course, this can continue even when you have a new pet. However, you need to be practical and think about breaking some habits that may lead to conflict. For example, if you feed your cats on the floor switch to feeding them on a surface that a puppy cannot reach. That way, you’re removing a potential flashpoint between your cats and the new dog. Puppies are curious and will be attracted by the smell of food. When your cat sees the puppy eating its food on the first day a fight is almost inevitable. Changing your cats’ eating habits for a week or two or more can stop this type of misunderstanding from occurring.

Spaniel puppy sitting with a boy & girl on a sofa

Take things slowly

On the day you get your puppy home, you’ll be able to introduce him or her to every member of the family. However, you may want to wait a while before showing the pup to your cat or cats. Let the puppy explore, but try to keep them apart for a couple of days. That way, your cat will smell the fact the pup is around and get used to the fact that the dog is there, but their life hasn’t changed. When they actually see the pup they’re more likely to respond calmly. Just make sure they’re not left alone until the dog has learnt that the cat isn’t a plaything and shouldn’t be chased.

If you want more detailed advice about introducing a puppy to your existing pets, a good breeder like Douglas Hall Kennels will be able to help. They understand the importance of settling a puppy into their new home and recognise that it’s not always easy to do so. As a result, they have the expertise to offer advice that’s tailored to your specific family circumstances.

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Fudge has been collared!

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orange dog collar and lead

We received a surprise cheque in the post last week. Not a lottery style win or anything, but a couple of hundred pounds that we weren’t expecting. So, only one thing for it – ‘save half, spend half!’. Adelle got a pair of new shoes, Justin needs some new jeans – and Fudge got a lovely new collar & lead set.

tissue-wrapped collar and lead with complimentary dog treat

They were ordered from Suzy Q based in Hove. Not on the High Street give 5% of the sale price to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Lovely attention to detail in the packaging – nice tissue paper wrapping, pretty labels and a dog treat!

personalised, engraved collar

The collars are very well made – and customised too which is included in the price. Just one word of caution – if you have a dog that pulls very hard, we have known this type of clip-in fastening to pop open suddenly. This might be an issue if your dog has an aggressive streak, runs into busy roads or heads off into the hills as soon as it gets chance!

Fudge sporting his new, orange matching collar and lead

We went for the vibrant orange – he might be ten years old, but Fudge still likes to turn heads. You can almost hear him saying, “Don’t I look handsome… not bad for an old man”. The George Clooney of the canine world!

Gimme Five! Dog rucksacks

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selection of 5 dog rucksacks

Going on a long walk with a dog can be like taking a child; they need a lot of stuff! Water, bowl, food, poo bags, treats, ball… All that kit can be heavy, bulky and tiring when you’re walking in the hills. The least Fudge can do is help to carry some of the load – in the most stylish way possible of course!

  1. EZYDog Summit backpack: £42.99, Wayfair
  2. Ruffwear Approach dog pack: £89.95, PetsPyjamas
  3. Lalawow durable canvas dog backpack: £15.99, Amazon
  4. RuffWear Palisades dog pack: £99.99, Petmeds
  5. Outward Hound dog quick release backpack: £29, eBay

Gimme Five: Dog beds

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selection of 5 large dog beds

Fudge needs a new dog bed. His current wicker one is falling apart. It’s probably because it gets carried up and down the stairs numerous times per day. Fudge doesn’t know the feeling of bare floorboards against his bare backside – and he’d like to keep it that way!

  1. Danish Design Heritage houndstooth snuggle bed 89cm (35″): £45.19, PetShopBowl
  2. Divan Wellness dog sofa – brown: £89.90, Zooplus
  3. Earthbound luxury tweed & waterproof bed: 94.99, Muddy Paws
  4. Beaumont large pet bed by Plush Pet Beds: £159, Notonthehighstreet
  5. FleeceLock™ wraparound dog bed: £125, Orvis

Christmas Countdown: Fudge’s choice

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Selection of dog-related, canine Christmas items | H is for Home

Fudge insists on being given the opportunity to voice (bark?) his opinion on canine Christmas matters, so we’ve allowed him to guest edit this penultimate Christmas Countdown post.

He’s scoured the internet and wishes to share his findings with his doggie buddies. We’re pleased to bring you his carefully curated collection…

  1. Party dog Christmas decoration by Horsfall & Wright: £12, Notonthehighstreet
  2. Pair of 2 Rudolf sausage dog decorations by Miss Shelly Designs: £17, Notonthehighstreet
  3. William Wegman’s Fay’s Twelve Days of Christmas DVD: £62.51, Amazon
  4. Tillsammans x-mas poster: £20, Scandinavian Design Center
  5. Lily’s Kitchen turkey with cranberry Christmas dog treats: £2.99, Monster Pet Supplies
  6. Santa & Rudolph reindeer bandana: £3.20, PetsPyjamas
  7. Joy to the World ‘Give a Dog A Bone’ ornament: £19.41, Saks Fifth Avenue
  8. Good Boy dog luxury Christmas stocking: £6.99, Seapets
  9. Good Boy Christmas dog Santa coat: £5.99-£9.69, Monster Pet Supplies