Having two dogs at home can bring several advantages for both you and your furry friend. However, before adding a second dog to your family, it's essential to consider some factors. Learn more from our vets in Kennesaw
Is It Better to Have One or Two Dogs?
By nature, dogs are social and thrive in group environments. Therefore, there are many advantages to adopting a second dog, such as:
- They can keep each other company
- Both dogs will be able to entertain each other and get exercise together
- Your older dog could help you train a new puppy
- When the dogs have each other, it can help ease separation anxiety
- You will have two adorable dogs to love
Are you thinking about getting a second dog? It's a great idea for companionship, but it can be tricky initially. Your first dog might not be thrilled about sharing their space and toys. Below, we discuss some factors you need to consider when getting a second dog and how you can make the process as smooth as possible for everyone.
The Consequences of Adding a Second Dog to Your Home
Getting a second dog could make your first dog feel displaced and uncertain. While the majority of dogs will get along well with their new sibling, your first dog may not be happy having to share their toys, space, territory, or even their owner's affection. This makes it important to prepare and do your research when getting ready to bring home a second dog.
The Kind of Dog You Should Get
When getting another pup, it's important to determine which type of dog will be best for your current dog and your family's lifestyle. For this reason, you need to make sure you are doing more than just checking off a couple of mental boxes. You need to consider factors such as:
- What size of dog will work best for you and your family?
- Can your home fit a second dog?
- Will you have time to play with and care for another dog?
- What are the exercise needs of your old dog and new dog?
- Can you afford to take care of a second dog?
- Will your current dog be able to interact with a puppy, or will an older, more calm dog be best?
Considering these points, you should be able to find a dog that will be a perfect addition to your family or determine if you are ready for a second dog.
Ways to Help Your Old Dog and New Dog Get Along
if you're thinking about getting a second dog, here are some steps to make it easier and help your two dogs get along better.
Talk to Your Family First
Deciding to bring home a new dog should take time, and it's best to ask everyone in your home what they think on the subject and find out if it meets everyone's needs, including your dog's! Your current dog's age, physical ability, and personality should all be taken into account when determining if you want to bring home a new pet.
Don't Take Your Current Dog With You
We don't recommend bringing your current dog with you when you are going to pick out your new furry companion. Your dog may distract you when you are trying to make your choice, and the car ride could become very intense.
Introduce Your Dogs on Neutral Grounds
When introducing your two dogs for the first time, choose a neutral location to avoid territorial issues. You could have a friend or family member bring your current pup to a quiet park or green space, and you can meet them there with your new puppy. If you have multiple dogs, ensure you can assist or manage them on leashes.
Keep Your Dogs Under Control
While keeping full control of the dogs, ensure you hold them loose enough on their leash that they don't feel too hampered by it.
Let the Dogs Get to Know Eachother
When dogs meet, it's usually for them to circle and sniff each other. Keep this meeting positive by talking to them in a tone that is pleasant. Watch them for signs of aggression and intervene when you have to by redirecting their attention. If the dogs start to growl or snarl, do your best not to scold them because this will teach them to suppress their emotions when you are near. Encourage a healthy social order for them, even when you're not present.
If your dogs are ignoring each other, that's okay. Let them decide when they're ready to interact.
Bring Your Pups Home
Bring your dogs home when they get along well. Start by introducing your exciting dog to the new one, without the current dog leading the way on a leash, to make them feel comfortable and in control.
Limit Opportunites for Rivalry
Ensure each dog has their own food dish, water bowl, and bed. After mealtimes, pick up the food bowls to reduce the risk of food aggression. However, you can leave the water bowls out.
Also, remember to pick up your first dog's favorite toys and items to limit conflict while the new relationship develops. Once you are certain the dogs are getting along, you may give them their favorite toys back.
Remember to Supervise Playtime
When you aren't home, we highly recommend keeping both dogs separate from each other. When it comes time for them to play together, you need to watch them closely. Don't forget to offer them lots of praise when they interact nicely with one another.
It's imperative that you find time to spend quality one-on-one time with each dog every day so you can cement the personal bond you have with them.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.