Tips On Bringing Home A Second (Or Third) Dog

October 9, 2019

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There are several reasons that you may be considering bringing home a new dog or puppy. Before you add a second dog, here are some things to consider. First evaluate your current dog's demeanor. One of the biggest mistakes people make is wanting to add a second dog to a household where the resident dog has no desire whatsoever to be with another dog. How does your dog act on play dates or at the dog park? Is he excited to play or standoffish with other dogs? Pay attention to your dog's body language. If he gives warning signs like yawning, lip-licking, showing his teeth or growling, remove him from the situation. If he's picky about his playmates or has behavior problems, it's a good idea to work with a trainer before thinking about adding a second dog. And you may want to reconsider adding a second dog when your first dog is old, sick or dying. While it can help an older dog feel spry again, it can also backfire if the presence of the second dog causes a consistent state of overwhelm to the older resident dog. Highly-energetic puppies should not be allowed to overwhelm frail, older dogs. Overwhelm can cause the older dog decline faster under the stress of enduring an unwanted, overzealous housemate. Before you bring a potential new dog home, it's a good idea to make introductions on neutral territory. Have a friend walk the new dog on a leash while you walk your dog. Watch carefully for any negative body language, slowly getting closer if they seem relaxed. When you've found a good match, make your home a safe and happy place for everyone. Install baby gates so you can separate the dogs in separate rooms when they need a break from each other. Give the dogs their own space to sleep and eat. Feed them in separate rooms or in their crates at first. Make sure there are plenty of toys to go around and watch the dogs carefully when they play. Keep an eye on body language as you may need to separate them as they get used to each other.

SOURCE: Mother Nature Network

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