The time has come for adding a second dog to your household. Having two dogs instead of one can be just as easy to manage, plus twice as nice. Introducing a second dog allows one to rescue a shelter dog, give companionship to your current pet, make the house fuller, and much more. Take care when introducing a second dog into your home with these tips.
Is Your Dog Ready?
Be confident that every member of your house is ready for the newcomer, including your current pet dog. If your dog is dealing with behavioral issues like destructiveness, separation anxiety, excessive barking, or other fear or unruliness, you will need to address those first. Only when your dog is well and can be an example to the new pet should you consider introducing a second dog.
Tips on Choosing a Dog
Some dog breeds might appeal to you more than others, but be sure to choose a dog that will agree with your current one. For example, if your pet is older and more sluggish, an energetic, vocal breed will likely prove annoying. Consider the temperament of your dog; if it prefers lots of running around, introduce an energetic playmate, and vice versa. Be careful with sizing too, since large dogs can injure or overwhelm small kinds. Canines typically coexist more peacefully with the opposite sex, but two males or two females can also thrive under good leadership.
Meeting in the Park
When introducing two dogs, it is best to meet at a neutral location where territory won’t be a problem. On the whole, be as gradual as possible. Each dog should have a handler to promote initial separation. Keep the dogs calm as they greet one another, stopping any aggressive behavior. Once each dog can approach you without minding the other, you can proceed to the house.
Early Stages at Home
When at home, you will need to separate the dogs for the first few weeks. Place feeding bowls apart from each other, and separate them with a baby gate when left alone. It is better not to leave them alone with a rawhide, as this will most likely lead to a fight. During this beginning phase, it is essential to monitor their time together and encourage good interactions on both sides.
Be sure to give each dog the loving care and attention each of them needs, and provide enough toys for both. Taking them on daily walks will strengthen their bond and reinforce you as their leader.
Trust the Care of Your Pet to the Professionals at Everhart Veterinary Medicine!
At Everhart Veterinary Medicine, our veterinary professionals strive to provide your pet with the very best of veterinary care. We believe that the best care for your pet should be provided by experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals. With two Maryland locations in both Baltimore and Pasadena, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131 or 410-793-7670! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!