Deciding on Adding Another Dog To Your Family
Two dogs can become lifelong friends, providing companionship and support for one another while their owners are away. While many animals love to bond with another dog, it takes careful action on the part of the owner to make sure that the addition of a new pet to your family goes smoothly. Here are some steps to take if you’re considering bringing a new four-legged friend into your home:
Think about the animals you already have
Some dogs thrive with another creature in their home, rejoicing in having a companion to play and run with. However, in some cases, older dogs may become territorial and may fight with a new addition. They may even become depressed when you bring a new dog home. To make sure that the situation will remain pleasant for everyone involved, first consider your current pet’s personality. This involves knowing the animal’s energy level, socialization skills, playmates preferences, and play style.
There are no set rules about what kinds of dogs make good matches, because all dogs are individuals. Even within the same breed, animals have varying personality types. It’s not necessarily true that all female dogs match well with all males, or that younger creatures and older ones usually get along. It strictly depends on the animal.
Test it out
Prior to making a commitment to adopt, you’ll want to test out your potential new family situation. Dogs communicate using strong body language, so you can interpret these signs to see if the two animals are getting along. Walk your current pet and the potential new dog together. This a low-stress way to see if the two can adapt to one another while doing something fun together in a neutral environment. To make this activity successful, do the following:
- Keep both dogs on a leash
- Each dog gets their own handler
- Keep the leashes loose, even if the dogs choose to interact
- Keep the first meeting brief
- Praise both dogs
If one animal seems overly nervous, have both creatures sit or lie down to practice self-control. While walking, allowing the two to sniff each other. If the walk goes well, take the two dogs to a safe area to allow them to relax and interact further.
When you’re trying to see if a new addition will work in your family, avoid just throwing the two animals together in your home and letting them figure it out. Even social dogs need time to adjust to another presence in their home. This situation can cause tension or fights.