December 11, 2019
3 Tips To Keep In Mind Before Bringing Home A Second Dog
Shop Team K9
Are you thinking about adding a new member to the family? Maybe a puppy caught your eye at the shelter or you figure two canine buddies will be better than one. Whatever the reason may be, there are a few things to consider before bringing home a new dog or puppy. Here are 3 tips to keep in mind before bringing home a second dog.
1. Evaluate your current dog
You might be certain that you want a new dog but does your furry friend? Adding a second dog to a household where the current dog has no desire to be with them can be a disaster waiting to happen. There is a good way to make sure that your current dog will be okay with adding a second dog. You can watch how your dog acts on play dates or at the dog park. Is your dog excited to play or shy around other dogs? If they haven’t been around other dogs very much, find someone with a friendly dog and watch how yours interacts with them. Watch for warning signs like yawning, lip-licking, and showing their teeth or growling. If the interaction is not very friendly, that’s a sign that your dog doesn’t enjoy being around other dogs.
2. Select the right dog
Temperament, size, sex, and age are all factors to take into account when looking to add another dog to the family. However, there is no one exact formula. Just like us humans, every dog is their own individual and we get along with some people and not so much with others. Dogs are the same way… some just hit it off better than others. The most important thing to consider in this process is your current dog’s personality. For example, if your dog is a bossy, dominant type, it’s not the best idea to bring in another dog with that same personality. Instead, a better option might be to add a dog who is more laid back. If your current dog is shy and lacks a little bit of confidence, it could be beneficial to add a more confident dog.
3. Make introductions
Before bringing a second dog into the house, it’s always a good idea to introduce them to your current dog in neutral territory. It’s important to have the proper equipment while introducing another dog to your current one. A heavy duty harness and a proper leash will help to ensure a safe and peaceful interaction. The best way to introduce them to each other is slowly. If they are reacting calmly, take turns letting them walk behind one another and then side by side. Take turns letting them sniff each other as well. If they are getting along fine, take them where they can get to know each other in a supervised, off-leash area.
Once you get home
When you find a dog who will be a good match with your current one, make your home a safe and happy place for everyone. Initially, give your dogs their own place to sleep and eat. Make sure there are plenty of toys around the house that they can play with. While they’re playing, keep an eye on their body language and always have two of each toy. Like kids, your dogs will always want what the other one has, and this can lead to arguments.
“Keeping their stress levels down (just like in people) is key, as relaxed dogs are more likely to get along in the home,” says Pia Silvani, director of behavior rehabilitation at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). "Try going for walks or to the park together so they can become familiar with one another in a fun environment. If the dogs get along right away, more freedom is suggested, but you still may need to separate them when you are not home to ensure that everyone is safe."
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