How to Keep Small Pets Safe Around a New Dog
If you are bringing home a new dog, it is important that you train it to behave and play safely with your other animals. Whether you are introducing a new dog to your rabbit. cat. bird, or other small animal, you will need to create a safe space for both animals initially. You can then arrange and initiate brief, leashed introductions to help both animals become better acquainted. Once the animals are completely comfortable with each other, you can allow the animals unsupervised time.
Method One of Three:
Preparing Your Animals to Meet Edit
Train your dog . Properly training your new dog is essential to ensuring your smaller animal’s safety. Making sure that your dog responds to verbal commands will enable you to have complete control over your animal. When it comes to introducing your animals, your dog needs to be able to respond to “sit” and “stay.” 
Visit your veterinarian. You should visit your veterinarian before introducing any new animals into your home. You will want to make sure that the animals currently residing in your home can handle the stress of a new dog. Conversely, you want to make sure that your new dog will be okay mixing with the animals in your house. 
- Some breeds of dog are incapable of living with other animals. Make sure you research dog breeds before bringing home a new dog.
- Smaller dogs, like Chihuahuas, tend to be very territorial and may not get along well with other animals.
- Golden retrievers, Anatolian shepherds, great Danes, and other large dogs tend to get along well with other pets. 
Talk with a trainer or behaviorist. A dog with behavior issues may need some professional help before you introduce it to the smaller animals in your home. A behaviorist or a trainer may be able to correct your dog’s behavior issues. However, some dogs are unable to adapt to life with smaller animals and should not be kept in close quarters with pets that they may hurt. 
- If your dog has some behavior issues, be sure to talk with a professional before introducing it to other animals.
Method Two of Three:
Creating a Safe Space Edit
Designate a room for each animal in your home. Before you bring home your new dog, you will need to make a space for each animal. This space should have a door that you can close to keep the animals away from each other. If you cannot use a room with a door, consider putting up guards, like puppy or baby gates, to keep your animals away from each other. 
- If your small animal is already residing in a room that can be isolated, you should leave them in there. The familiar surroundings will make adjusting to the arrival of the new pet easier.
- If you have multiple small animals, you can consider keeping them in a room together as long as they get along with each other. However, if you have a small dog and a small cat, you will likely want to give them their own rooms.
- If your animal spends most of its time in a cage, you should keep its cage in a separate room and place it up where a dog cannot get to it.
Place each animal’s food and bedding in its designated area. Once you have designated a safe space for each animal, you should put each animal’s food, water, bedding, litter box, toys, and other items in that area. This will ensure that your small animal has all of its needs met while staying safe from your new dog. It also keeps the new dog from destroying or eating your animal’s things. 
- You especially do not want your new dog eating your smaller pet’s food or waste. A dog will eat the other animal’s food, which is not formulated for it and can make it sick. Dogs will also get into your cat’s litter box and eat the animal’s feces.
- This is particularly important if you have a big dog and a small dog. If you feed them at the same time, the two animals will fight with each other over the food. This can lead to a smaller dog getting hurt by the bigger one. 
Rotate which animal gets to roam around. When you are home, you will want to let your animals out of their respective safe spaces at different times. This will allow them some time to exercise and familiarize themselves with each other’s scents. Let them explore your home and investigate each other’s scent. 
- You might also consider rubbing your small animal’s scent on a rag and letting your dog smell it. This will help it become familiar with your small animal’s scent before you do a leashed introduction. 
- If your dog paws at the door of the area where you are keeping your smaller animal, you will likely need to visit trainer before introducing your animals.
Keep both animals confined if no one is home. When you are away, make sure that you securely place both animals in their safe space. You do not want to come home and find that your new dog has destroyed your home while chasing your smaller animal, or worse, injured or killed it. Make sure that you shut doors and lock any gates before leaving. 
- This is also a great opportunity to crate train your new dog.
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