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Blended Families: How to Introduce the Pets to Each Other

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Cat and Dog portrait

The Spirit of Bo, returning from beyond to enlighten and inform:

It’s one thing to get married or remarried and instantly have a larger, blended family. It’s an adjustment for everyone involved, to say the very least. But what about the pets? How is the transition for them?  What happens when two families merge that have multiple pets?

Before merging families, be sure that all of the human members are accepting of your pet. Not everyone has a loving heart for cats and dogs. Further, some people may be allergic to the type of pet you have.  Or, perhaps some younger kids are simply afraid of dogs. There are so many potential variables to consider.

It is important to educate all family members before the merger as to how to interact with your pet, giving significant attention to the younger children who will be a part of this new dynamic.

Consider the types of animals you are bringing together when merging families, too. Dogs and rabbits tend to be natural enemies, but they can learn to live together. Likewise, cats and dogs can get along well, but can be naturally combative at times. Fish, birds and small mammals can be a risk with predatory animals such as cats and dogs. Be sure to keep pets separated that cannot coexist peacefully. A caged bird is not always fully protected from a cat on the prowl. And you better think twice if you believe your fish are safe in the aquarium. Some doors are best kept closed!

While you may not have to keep the pets separated forever, use caution initially. Introduce the pets to each other in a calm and peaceful setting. If you are stressed, your pets will adversely respond.  And never leave new animals together unattended for even a few seconds!

It may take several mini sessions of introducing the pets to each other before some sort of feeling of familiarity and acceptance is born. However, certain pets may never fully get along, and you will have to consider how to keep them separated from each other.

Remember to be patient!  These things take time!

Thanks to for this helpful information!


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