You’ve thought about it for a long time. You’ve done your research. You’ve prepared for a new addition. Finally, it’s time to bring your second dog or cat home. An exciting time in any pet owner’s life, bringing home a second pet can also be stressful. How will your first pet react? Will your second pet adjust quickly or take some time? While each situation is different, here are a few tips to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

Make Space

If possible, dedicate a room to your new pet and your new pet only. This way, your new dog or cat will be able to acclimate to the scent and feel of your home in peace, and your first pet won’t feel like their territory is being completely invaded. A helpful trick is to put treats on either side of the door and let both pets sniff at each other under the door as they nibble away. That way they’ll associate something positive with each other’s scents.

Always Supervise

When you feel like both of your pets are ready, it’s time to slowly open the door and introduce them. They’ll likely sniff each other and size each other up, and your new pet will start to explore the rest of the house. It is important for you to constantly supervise their interactions, but don’t jump in and interrupt unless they start to get aggressive. If you feel like things are taking a negative turn, return your new pet to his or her room and try again the next day.

Give It Time

Remember, animals are territorial and protective of their families. It may take some time for your first pet to adapt and get along with your new pet, and vice versa. Make sure to never leave them alone together until you are absolutely confident they will get along. Show them both equal amounts of love and discipline, and if you feel like their interactions are getting worse and not better, consult an expert. But with enough space, supervision, and time, most new pets will quickly become part of the family.

Comment with your own tips for bringing home a second pet!