What to Know Before Bringing Home Another Pup - ScienceOnDogs

What to Know Before Bringing Home Another Pup

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Thinking about adding a second dog to your family? Here’s how to do so successfully.

Anytime you add another member to your family, whether a human baby or a fur baby, things change. Before you rush out to the pet store for another dog, you need to be able to anticipate the potential impact – from the costs to behavior problems your first pup might have a result. Here are some key things to consider before you take the plunge:

Financial Practicalities

Another dog in the house means another mouth to feed, and the added cost in vet services, toys and other sundries for your new pet. Based on what you’re currently spending on the dog you have, you can get an idea of what you’d need to budget if you were to add another pet to the mix.

Type of Dog

In general, opposite sex dogs get along better than same-sex dogs. While there is no definitive guide to matching breeds, you need to look at the behavior of your current dog for clues. Are they too rough with smaller dogs? Do they get aggressive around bigger dogs? Pick a new dog that is a breed, size and personality type that your current pooch seems to get along with. Also, consider the age of a new dog. If your dog is older, how do they do around puppies? You want a good match of maturity and energy level between your two dogs to make the relationship work.

Bad Habits

Be forewarned that the bad habits your current dog has are easily passed to a new dog. If you have an incessant barker or chewer, it may not be a good idea to throw another dog in the mix because the likelihood is that you’ll have that problem behavior times two.

Prepare Your Dog

No one, human or dog, likes to relinquish the title of “Top Dog,” so be prepared if your dog doesn’t embrace his new brother or sister with open paws. Dogs will establish a hierarchy, and often times exerting dominance can get physical. Experts suggest introducing your dog to a new dog on neutral territory. Get a friend to walk your dog while you walk the new pup. Let the two sniff each other out and then don’t allow the two to interact while you walk them side-by-side. This demonstrates to them both that the real top dog in this household is you.

During the first few weeks, make sure to keep an eye out for jealousy in your first dog, especially since you will likely need to be paying more attention to your new dog and getting him or her adjusted. Just like an only child that faces their cold reality when a younger sibling comes around, your dog has grown accustomed to being your one and only. Make sure to make a conscious effort to spread your love around by spending one-on-one time with each dog.

Also, be on the lookout for any guarding of toys and food. This is something you want to nip in the bud immediately.

Keep Bugs at Bay

Illnesses spread easily among dogs. Before you bring home your new dog, make sure he has been de-wormed and has no intestinal parasites. Shelter dogs often have some type of illness, so a several week quarantine including no shared space, or shared water and food bowls is smart.

Knowing the tips and tricks to adding a second dog to the mix can make the transition to parents of multiple fur babies more seamless and fun.

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  • Posted on August 6, 2019

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