AdelaideVet vet nurse Leanne Hill shares her experience and expertise with introducing her new puppy Oakley to her family - and to her reluctant cat Jello!
On the 24th of February 2018, we welcomed Oakley, a chocolate and white Border collie puppy into our family. Myself, my husband and our two children fell instantly in love with this little fluff ball!
After losing Malakai our 14 and half year old Maltese x in October 2017 our house just felt a little empty from the kind of love only a dog can provide. This is why we decided that we had room in our hearts and our house to provide love for another furry friend.
Introducing Oakley to our 3 year old Cat Jello was not so easy.
I asked my fellow nurses and veterinarians for any useful tips and advice so that we could make this transition as smooth as possible for everyone.
We made sure that Jello had her own space, and was able to interact with Oakley in her own time and on her own terms.
I also used the Feliway diffuser in her favourite room of our house, this helped to reduce the stress and anxiety that the addition of Oakley brought to our house.
Thankfully after a few weeks, Jello and Oakley became fast friends, and are often seen wresting each other or cuddling up and grooming each other.
One thing that was very important to us all was making sure the Oakley had the best start with socialisation and training; so we signed her up to Puppy Preschool at AdelaideVet.
Every week for five weeks we would travel to our Prospect clinic with Oakley and children in tow to learn how to train Oakley to sit, stay, come to her name and many other things. My children learnt a lot about looking after Oakley and it helped to cement the responsibility of owning a puppy in them. Oakley learnt how to interact with other puppies of all shapes and sizes, even though she was the biggest one in puppy school. It was such an invaluable experience and even now whenever Oakley has to come to the clinic for an appointment she bounds in. She is so excited to walk in the door that it’s often hard to get her to leave.
Oakley managed to fill a little of the space in our hearts and our home once our beloved Malakai left. Now it’s hard to imagine our family without her and we wouldn’t change her for the world.