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When moving into a new home, whether it is an apartment, a house or anything in between, you will need to eventually meet the neighbors. You want to make a good first impression and make sure all members of your family are on their best behavior; this includes any furry family members. Don't wander off and begin hanging a picture frame during the first introduction.

Pets, like people, have different personalities. While your old dog may have been overly friendly to everyone, your new dog may be reserved and afraid of new people or places. This is true with any type of animal from a cat to a rabbit. When introducing a new pet to neighbors, you need to consider your pet’s personality and individual needs. Will she be overwhelmed by a new group of people? Will she act out by jumping, peeing or, worse of all, biting? Or will she be happy to receive a round of ‘good boy’ and pats from any stranger?

Avoiding Poor Pet Behavior

One tip when introducing your new pet to neighbors is to limit the excitement around her. Introduce your pet to new people one person at a time, especially if your pet is shy or overly excited. Let your pet get to know the neighborhood first with plenty of walks and visits to the park. You may run into some of your new neighbors there, especially if they have dogs of their own. If this is the case, always keep your dog on a leash, even if your dog is usually friendly with other animals. You just never know and it’s best to be safe rather than sorry, especially when meeting people for the first time.

If you own a cat you may notice that your furry baby doesn’t like strangers anymore than she likes water. Don’t be surprised if your cat cowers away and hides under the bed anytime the doorbell rings. She needs time to get used to her new home before she will feel comfortable enough to make friends. Give her time and eventually she will come around to greet the new faces.

Your Pet and Children

While some children love animals, others are terrified of them, especially larger dogs. Either way, you need to keep a watchful eye on old Spot with any child. Furthermore, many pets are weary of young children, especially the ones that are too little to understand the difference between a pat and a pull. Even if your dog has been around children all his life, you can never be too careful, especially when around someone else’s child.

Make sure you always supervise your pet when meeting any new children in the neighborhood and stay close enough to stop your pet from attacking, jumping, licking or doing anything else inappropriate that may scare the young child. The last thing you want when introducing your pet (and yourself) to new neighbors is the tag “that new guy with the evil dog”.

When moving into a new house, you pet is most likely feeling a little overwhelmed, as are you. After all, he had to leave his old home and familiar smells for a new place with new territory to conquer. What this means is that he will be busy marking his territory, sniffing out the place and getting comfortable in his new home. Give him a couple of days or weeks before introducing new pets to neighbors or a whole group of new people. Let him tackle one new thing at a time. That way, he will be more ready and more himself when the time does come to meet the new neighbors.

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