There may be a number of advantages to having two dogs in your home, for both you and your dog! However, there are a few things to think about before adding a second dog to your family. More information is available from our Statesboro veterinarians.
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
While getting a second dog to keep your first dog company may be a good idea, it may not be an easy process at first. Your first dog may not appreciate having to share his or her toys or environment. We'll go over some of the things you should think about when getting a second dog, as well as how to make the process go as smoothly as possible for everyone.
The Consequences of Adding a Second Dog to Your Home
Getting a second dog may cause your first dog to feel disoriented and insecure. While most dogs get along with their new sibling, your first dog may not be happy about having to share toys, space, territory, or even their owner's affection. As a result, it's critical to plan ahead and conduct research before bringing home a second dog.
The Kind of Dog You Should Get
It's crucial to figure out which type of dog will be best for your current dog and your family's lifestyle before getting another puppy. As a result, you must ensure that you are doing more than simply checking off a few mental boxes. You should think about things like:
- 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 a 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?
By taking these points into consideration, 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've decided it's time to get another dog, there are a few things you can do to make the process go more smoothly for everyone and help your two dogs get along as well as possible.
Talk to Your Family First
Choosing to bring a new dog into your home should take time, and it's best to get everyone's opinion on the subject and see if it meets everyone's needs, including your dog's! When deciding whether or not to get a new pet, you should consider your current dog's age, physical ability, and personality.
Don't Take Your Current Dog With You
We don't recommend bringing your current dog along when you're looking for a new furry friend. When you're trying to make a decision, your dog may distract you, and the car ride may become tense.
Introduce Your Dogs on Neutral Grounds
Bring your two dogs somewhere neutral when it's time for them to meet to avoid territorial aggression. You could have a friend or family member take your current dog to a quiet park or green space, where you can meet up with your new puppy. If you already have more than one dog, you'll need additional assistance or the ability to keep them all under control on a leash.
Keep Your Dogs Under control
While keeping full control of the dogs, make sure you are holding them loose enough on their leash that they don't feel too hampered by it.
Let the Dogs Get to Know Eachother
It's normal for dogs to circle and sniff each other when they first meet. Maintain a positive atmosphere in this meeting by speaking to them in a pleasant tone. Keep an eye out for signs of aggression and intervene if necessary by diverting their attention. If the dogs begin to growl or snarl, try not to scold them because this will only teach them to hide their emotions when you are nearby. You want them to create a safe and fair social hierarchy even if you aren't present.
Are your dogs ignoring each other? This is fine, don't force them to interact because they will get to know each other when they are ready.
Bring Your Pups Home
You can bring your dogs home when they start acting positively with each other.
Keep in mind that your two dogs will form a hierarchy, with your first dog assuming the role of alpha. As a result, you should first bring your current dog into the house and have someone assist you in walking your new dog on a leash. This allows your original dog to welcome your new puppy into their territory.
Limit Opportunites for Rivalry
Make sure 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.
Remember to retrieve your first dog's favorite toys and items to avoid any potential conflicts as your new relationship develops. You can give the dogs their favorite toys back once you're sure they're getting along.
Remember to Supervise Playtime
When you're not at home, it's best to keep both dogs apart. When it's time for them to play together, keep a close eye on them. When they interact well with one another, don't forget to compliment them.
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.