Introducing new puppy to older dog and cat

Tips on how to introduce your new puppy to the older dog and cat currently living with you, including ways to help everything go more smoothly.


Congratulations on your new puppy! You have many days and weeks of learning ahead for both you and your new addition.

One of your initial concerns might be about how to introduce your new puppy to the other animals already living in your home. This is a valid concern, as different animals, depending on their personality, may react to a newcomer in different ways. You can make introductions much easier on everyone involved by following a few simple steps:

Make sure you have set aside a whole day for your new puppy to get comfortable with their new surroundings. Do not get a puppy and leave them alone a few hours after bringing them home. It is best if you can have a full day, uninterrupted, to help your new puppy acclimate himself to the unfamiliar area.

The new pup should only be given a small area of the home, to begin with. Gradually increase the area he is allowed into at a pace you are both comfortable with.

Beautiful Siberian lady is waiting for a loving family

introduce with cat:

If the other animals you are introducing the pup to are cats, there are a few rules to put in place:

The puppy should be on a leash the first few times he meets the cats. This will allow you to pull him back if he is too rambunctious and overwhelming. Cats will generally warn an intruder about territorial rules and invasion of space with a swat on the nose, and this is completely acceptable.

Make sure the cats have somewhere to escape to. This goes along with the pup only being allowed in certain areas when he first arrives in your home. Ensure the cats have someplace high up the puppy can’t get to, or a place they can run to without being followed.

Keep the puppy away from the cat’s belongings, including cat litter and food. The puppy will obviously want to explore, but he should be informed immediately that these things are not for him.

It is completely normal and acceptable for cats to take up to a week to be social when the puppy is around.  Even then, for some time after, it may be only on the cat’s terms. If you find your cat is not eating or their behavior changes drastically, contact your vet.

introduce With an older dog:

If you’ve brought home your puppy to be a companion for your other dog, here are a few tips to make things go more smoothly:

Both dog and pup should be on leashes when they meet, and if possible, you should enlist the help of a friend to control one of the animals. If you currently have more than one dog already, each dog should meet the new puppy separately.

Your new pup should meet your dogs on neutral territory. This means that if your dogs are primarily inside pets, you should have the new pup meet them outside. If your dogs are primarily outside pets, you should have the new pup meet them in the yard, not in the kennel.

When the puppy and dog(s) meet, you can expect some sniffing and growling, but snapping, biting, or vicious growling is not acceptable by either dog and should be disciplined.

Reassure your current dog with praise when they are acting in an appropriate manner. Give your current dog lots of love, attention, and reassurance.

When it becomes apparent that the puppy and dog(s) are not going to hurt each other, you can let them off their leashes. It is best to do this in a fenced area with your supervision.

If your dogs are primarily indoor pets, and you decide it’s time to bring the puppy in, be aware there may be issues indoors that there weren’t outside. Dogs are territorial animals, and when the puppy comes into their space, it may seem your current dog suddenly got crabby. This is simply because the new puppy has now come into an area your dog recognizes as theirs and the pup may be informed of this by your current dog(s).

Your puppy should eat separately from the other dogs, and your current dogs should always be fed first. This is the same with treats, handing out toys, etc. It will help your current dog to not feel as though he is being replaced.

Keep an eye on your animals for a week or two to make sure it is continuing to be a pleasant situation for all involved. Dogs sometimes go backward after a week or two because they realize the puppy is not just a houseguest but is in fact staying. You may find your dog pouts or gets extra crabby, but they will generally learn to cope with their new companion.

Hopefully, the introduction of your new puppy will go smoothly and result in long-lasting friendships. Sometimes, however, things do not work out. You will know if there is trouble with the companionship if either animal appears stressed, does not eat for more than two days, acts depressed, or there are squabbles that escalate into fights with the injury. In this case, you may need to contact your vet or make different arrangements for your puppy.

By following these steps, you can help to ensure that your puppy and current animals will form long-lasting companionships and will be grateful that you have introduced them to each other. Remember to not rush their meetings, and keep things under control. In no time at all, your pup will easily fit right in!