How to successfully welcome a second dog into your home

If you’re a canine lover then you might be interested in introducing another four-legged friend into your family. How can you make this an easy transition if your existing pet is used to being top dog? There will certainly be more cuddles, more fun and more companionship. However, there’ll also be more poop, more vet bills and more food to buy. We’re going to look at some top tips for bringing a second dog into your home.

Age gap

Many breeders would advise a reasonable age gap between your two dogs. It’s recommended that you wait until your first dog is no longer a puppy. Once your first pooch is fully trained and well behaved, it will model those good habits to your new pup. However, it’s also suggested that you don’t leave too big of an age gap. An older dog may not tolerate all the excitement and energy a puppy brings into a home. 

Personality

Is your first dog ready for a new playmate? It’s worth thinking about whether your dog is sociable enough for a new friend. Are there any underlying behavioural issues that you need to address first? For example, destructiveness, separation anxiety, leash-pulling and aggression are all issues that you’ll need to get sorted before introducing a new pup. 

getting a second dog

Breed

You’ll need to have a think about whether the new breed you’re looking at is compatible with your first dog. They need to have similar personalities, temperaments and energy levels. If you’ve got a pooch that likes to take it easy, they won’t appreciate a hyperactive companion jumping all over them when they’re trying to nap. You’ll need to consider physical differences too. A large dog can cause serious injury to a tiny dog even just through play fighting.

Introducing your dogs to each other

The actual introduction will require a bit of forethought and planning. Some people recommend keeping your dogs apart for 24 hours to allow the new dog to get used to their surroundings. It’s best to do the introduction outside. You could go on a walk with another person so you each have one of the dogs under your control. Keep both dogs leashed to start with and try to keep them calm and quiet. Once they have relaxed a little you can allow them to get closer so they can have a good sniff of one another. If either dog shows signs of aggression, move them away and don’t continue until the situation has calmed again.

Fri Jun 4 2021