THU, 21 MAR 2019 BY LINDA ROSADO
ARE YOU READY TO ADD A NEW DOG TO THE FAMILY?
Puppy fever has been hitting you hard lately. You can’t imagine life without your first dog, and now you’re thinking about getting another pup. Does that sound like you? If you’re nodding your head, keep reading.
While it’s easy to want a new dog, there are definitely things to consider before making an addition to the family.
SIGNS YOU’RE READY FOR TWO PUPS
LIFE WITH YOUR FIRST DOG IS A SUCCESS
You’re every pet’s dream owner. You’re more than willing to make time for your dog and go out of your way to make sure they’re living their best life. Visits to the dog park are a must and you’re always in the kitchen whipping up homemade pet friendly treats and goodies. If your current doggo is happy and healthy, it’s a good sign that you’ve mastered puppyhood. Being a good caretaker is important, and both dogs will need you more than ever when you bring the newcomer home.
EVERYONE IS ON BOARD
If you live with others, make sure everyone is ready for a new pet. Even if the dog will be considered your pet, it’ll definitely change the household dynamic. The new addition will prove to be more work and possibly an additional expense for everyone involved. You want to introduce the dog to a loving home where they’ll be accepted by everyone.
If the whole family is looking forward to seeing another furry face around the house, it’s all hands on deck. Having the extra help for splitting up dog-related chores will make the transition into being a multiple-pet home that much easier.
THE BREED IS COMPATIBLE
Still keeping the current household in mind, you’ll want to pick a breed that everyone can get along with. Researching which dogs will best fit your lifestyle is a necessary step to take before committing to a specific type of dog. Factors like the size of your living space, your general activity level, if you have children and what kind of dog you have now should guide your search. Some breeds mix better than others, and some are especially suited for multi-pet owners.
YOU HAVE ENOUGH TIME
Are you ready for double the baths, games of fetch and walks around the neighborhood? Of course, you’ll have to incorporate time in your schedule for pup number two, but your current dog still needs just as much (if not more) attention as before. On top of that, your new addition will need training, plenty of playtime and so much more. If you’re already struggling to squeeze in time for Fido, adopting Fluffy may not be the best choice just yet.
YOU CAN AFFORD IT
Getting a dog can be expensive. Basic needs like food, routine vet care and grooming can quickly add up. Depending on your dog, the yearly cost of being a pet owner can range anywhere between $1,400 and $4,300. If your current dog attends doggie daycare, do the math to see if your wallet is ready to take twice the hit. Consider adopting from your local shelter to save money and give a well-deserving doggo a new home.
HOW TO INTRODUCE YOUR PETS TO EACH OTHER
INTRODUCE DOGS OUTDOORS
It’s best to introduce your dogs in an outdoor space that neither will feel dominant in. Meeting on neutral ground will give them the opportunity to feel more at ease and less territorial. Having both dogs meet for the first time in a car is likely too confined and a space your dog feels they have the advantage, so leave your current dog home when picking up your new pup.
Letting your dogs meet outside is ideal so they have the option to play together but there’s also ample space to separate the two. You’ll need to recruit a friend or family member to help with the first meet up to hold one pet’s leash. Keep them leashed so you’re in control at all times, but drop them and let the dogs interact freely when you feel the time is right. Don’t hold the leashes too tight, or you may create a tense environment.
SEPARATE THE PUPS WHEN YOU’RE AWAY
Until you’re sure your dogs can get along, don’t leave them together unattended. Keeping them in different rooms or crates will prevent fights and other incidents. Dogs can settle some disputes on their own, but it’s safest to manage their interactions as best as you can. This can also lessen your new pup’s likelihood to chew furniture and potty indoors.
It’s not uncommon for it to take some time and adjusting for your pets to get used to each other. You can help make the process smoother by rewarding good behavior with one another, having an upbeat tone of voice, and knowing when it’s appropriate to start and end meetings. Always have a positive attitude and be patient with both pups.
Adding a new pup to the pack will take even more effort, so it’s important that you and everyone involved is truly ready for dog number two. When the time is right, getting a sibling for your current dog will fill your home with even more puppy love.