Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Hannah Russell
Features Writer
12:16 PM 17th March 2018

A New Family Member…

Meet Elvis the springer spaniel puppy! He’s now 12 weeks old and growing all the time. He came to live with my family around 4 weeks ago, but it was totally unexpected, we hadn’t planned for another puppy to join our current family of 13 pets, but due to unexpected circumstances he’s got a home with us for life.

Unfortunately, just after we got him he was diagnosed with ‘Puppy Strangles’ or the technical term being ‘Juvenile Cellulitis’ which is an immune disorder. The cause is still unknown, but it could have been a reaction to his first injections. So, Elvis has been a very poorly puppy; he’s been on lots of medication but yesterday the vets were very happy with his improvement and how lively he is. So that was a great relief and smiles all round.

Yesterday Alfie met Elvis for the first time, although they have seen each other around the yard they haven’t been properly introduced yet.

I carried Elvis into the stables as he’s still a little nervous around the ‘Big scary horses’, I suppose they will look huge to him! But he wagged his tail at Alfie and didn’t seem overly phased by him. I crouched down and let Alfie have a sniff and he seemed quite happy with him – Alfie can get jealous at times, but he didn’t seem to mind Elvis too much.

Alfie has always been pretty good meeting new animals especially ones smaller than him, he’s always gentle around my rabbits, guinea pigs and even my Roborovski hamster Twinkle.

I’m looking forward to seeing Elvis grow up. I’m sure Alfie and Elvis will be great friends as long as Elvis doesn’t pinch Alfie’s footballs they will get on just fine….

Introducing a new pet to your current family of pets can sometimes be hard as you never want any of them to feel left out. Not only that but you’re not sure what reaction your other pets will have and if they will all get along.

Here are just a couple of tips I have picked up over the years from having so many pets…

Use positive reinforcement – Don’t forget to praise your current pets when they show affection/ kindness to the new family member. Then they know they are behaving right. Just be careful they don’t get over excited.

Tire your pet out before hand – This is mostly if you're introducing a new dog to another dog. It might be a good idea to take your dog for a walk before you introduce them, so they can have a good run and won’t be too over excited about meeting the new arrival!

Have lots of fun along the way, pets are a huge enjoyment and at the end of the day there is nobody I want to see more than my furry friends.