When we bring a new dog into our home, it is an exciting time for us, but it can also be a stressful and even dangerous time for our existing dog. The decision to add a new dog to your existing dog’s life is, therefore, a big one that should not be taken lightly. Taking the proper steps before introducing a new dog to your existing dog is essential to ensure a successful and safe integration. It is important to consider all the. factors involved before introducing a new dog to your current dog’s environment.
Does your existing dog want a friend?
The first thing to consider is whether your current dog will enjoy having a new friend. You need to look at your dog’s personality and temperament around other dogs. Does your dog have a friendly, outgoing personality or is he more reserved and shy? Is your dog aggressive or does he get along well with other animals? If your current dog is not socialized and has a history of aggressive behaviour, it is important to consider whether or not adding a new dog is the right choice.
Once you have determined that your current dog would enjoy having a new family member, you can begin to choose the breed or dog to adopt. If you are buying a dog then make sure you find an ethical breeder. If you want to adopt from a shelter, then support a knowledgeable and responsible shelter that has a strict adoption policy. By supporting such a shelter you promote responsible adoptions that ultimately lead to a much happier life for the dogs.
Chose the right size and breed
If you have a small dog, you should probably consider your new dog to be of a similar size or not too energetic. Adding a larger or more energetic dog to the home could be overwhelming for a smaller dog, and could lead to an uncomfortable situation. Similarly, if your current dog is large or active, it is important to make sure that the new dog is not too small.
The next step is to consider the breed of the new dog. You would want the breed to match your dog’s personality. For the best fit you want to make sure that the breeds have compatible temperaments and energy levels. For example, if you have a high-energy breed, it is important to choose a breed that is just as energetic and outgoing. This will set you up for a successful friendship.
Lastly, once you have decided on a breed and size that suits your current situation determine if a male or a female dog is more appropriate. A rule of thumb is that it is best to mix the gender so you have one male and one female. Second-best is two males and the one combination to be wary of is two females as they have a tendency to be protective of their “den”.
Health checks are a must
Once you have found your potential new addition to the family you need to ensure your current and new dog are healthy. Both dogs should be examined by a veterinarian to ensure they are free of any contagious diseases, this is especially important if you are adopting a dog from a shelter. Also, make sure that both dogs are up to date on their vaccinations and are on a regular deworming regimen. If you are buying a puppy, ask for the parent’s medical history so you have full insight into hereditary diseases.
Provide a safe space for introductions
When introducing the new dog to your existing dog, do so slowly and in a controlled environment. It is best to introduce the dogs in a neutral area, such as a park, and give them time to get to know each other before bringing them into your home. This will ensure your dog will not feel threatened or intimidated by the presence of the new dog. You should also supervise their interactions and provide plenty of treats and toys to keep them both happy and distracted.
Before bringing a new dog home you also want to make sure you have all the necessary things at home for your new dog. For example, you want to provide each dog with their own bed and eating area to ensure they have their own safe space. A puppy will require you to puppy proof your house for example. All dogs also need a few essential items that you can find in our puppy shopping list.
Give equal love and attention
Finally, it is important to give both dogs equal of attention and love. Give each dog individual attention and playtime so they feel loved and secure. This will help to ensure that both dogs feel comfortable in the home and will help to prevent aggression or other behavioural issues.
Bringing home a new dog is a big decision that should be carefully thought through. But by taking the right steps before introducing a new family member, you will ensure both dogs have a happy life together.