Could there be anything better than having a dog?! Well, we’ve done some thinking and YES there is, in fact, something better than having a dog: having two dogs! If you have one dog, you’ve most likely considered getting another pup in order to create a wolf pack. Getting a second dog isn’t as simple as picking the cutest dog at the shelter; you need to make sure you choose one that will be compatible with the pet you already own.
Read also: “8 Dog Adopting Tips and Tricks You Need To Know“
Before making the choice to bring another pup into your home, weigh all the pros and cons. There are plenty of benefits to adopting a second dog, such as twice as much dog to love/ be loved by, companionship for Dog #1, saving a life, and companionship for your kids if you have any! Keep in mind, double the dog also means double the vet bill costs, food, toys, poop, and responsibility. If you’ve really taken the time to think it over and have decided to proceed, here are our best tips for adopting a second dog!
First make sure Dog #1 is dog-friendly and well trained. You can get a feel for how your pup reacts to other dogs by hanging out with a friend that also has a dog. Go on a walk together or hang out at a dog park in a neutral territory. If you’re dog doesn’t get along with your friend’s dog, you may want to try to mingle with a couple different of dogs. If it seems as though your dog is set on being an only-dog, not all hope is lost! If you’d really like to get a Dog #2 you can take Dog #1 to a behavior trainer.
The next step is to select the right dog. Think yin and yang. If you have a “top dog” alpha type already at home, try your best to get a more calm, submissive pup. Size should also be taken into consideration. If you have a three-pound micro-dog, adopting a dog is a potential hazard. It isn’t impossible to have very contrasting sized breeds in a household; it just requires extra supervision. Also, don’t forget grooming. If you already spend hours brushing out Dog #1, you can definitely avoid doubling the hassle by choosing a shorthaired second dog. If you have a very active dog, it can be helpful to pair them with another very active dog. The two can be able to tire each other out.
Now it’s time to introduce your dog to their new sibling. The best way is to have both pups leashed. Find a neutral territory, such as somewhere outdoors and ask a friend to stand opposite you with Dog #2 while you stand with Dog #1. Let the dogs see each other. It can be helpful to give a treat to each in order for the pups to associate the interaction with something positive. If neither of the dogs seem to exhibit aggressive behaviors, walk closer to your friend and let the dogs meet, nose to nose! Keep a close eye for any aggression. Do not bring the dogs into the house together unless they’ve been tired out. If the dogs are unable to be near one another, seek a professional trainer.
The next step is brining the dogs into the house. We recommend using doggy gates in the house to keep the dogs separate when you aren’t home. In the early stages of owning dog #2, feed them in separate locations. Have many toys and beds so the dogs never find themselves fighting over these amenities. Lastly make sure to train your new dog well!