My Lady says dogs are like potato chips and you can’t have just one. Say what? I don’t know what potato chips are. Maybe they are the human version of the chew chips we have. If so, then I will agree with her WOOF! She says that at some point humans have to learn how to introduce a second dog into the family without all the yack and growls that go with it.
Sometimes it can be upsettin’ and scary for both of the pets and it can get a little dicey, but with the right know-how and a little preparation ya can make it a lot smoother on everyone – dogs and humans too!
Here’s a few tips from my Lady.
How To Introduce A Second Dog Into the Family
Adopt don’t shop
While buying purebred dogs is widely popular, we always recommend adopting them.
In doing so, you are saving the life of a puppy or dog that desperately needs love.
This will bring a few more frustrations in transitions with some dogs, but typically will be the most rewarding thing you do for your family.
Introduce the dogs outside of your home
Instead of bringing a strange dog into your home right away, take your existing pet to a dog park or other neutral location to meet the potential new family member.
Not only will they be able to get to know each other without territorial issues arising, but you’ll also be able to quickly gauge if they will be compatible as playmates.
If they seem to be unable to play together in a neutral location or are violent toward each other you will know it is time to look for a different second pet for your home for the time being.
Give each dog their own belongings
Make sure that both dogs feel they have their own territory.
This means getting new beds, food bowls, leashes, collars, toys, and even blankets for the new dog and not introducing them until he or she arrives.
Keep their items separate and direct your new dog to his new belongings right away.
This will help him establish what is his while giving your existing pet comfort knowing his belongings aren’t going to be taken away.
Just like a young child, sharing personal space and belongings with someone new can be startling and a cause for fear.
Don’t abandon alone time with your first dog
One problem in multiple pet homes is that one or both pets will feel jealous or left out.
This is especially hard when a new dog is introduced.
Make sure to spend plenty of one on one time with your first dog as well as the new addition.
Giving both dogs plenty of positive attention apart from each other builds their sense of security.
Take your time and make sure to not force relationships and playtime between the dogs.
It may take a few weeks or even months for full trust to build.
Be patient as the new addition to your family adjusts and becomes best friends with your existing pet.
We have a few more detailed tips on introducing a new pet into the home that may help also.