If you already have a dog, you might want to consider adding a second dog to your family. If this is the case, there are some special considerations when adding the second dog. You might think of adding another dog to your family to keep your first dog company, or to give you another dog to love. In either case, be sure that the second dog will be a good fit for your family, including your current dog.
Whether you plan to adopt, resuce, or purchase a second dog, follow these suggestions to help make the process simpler.
– Carefully consider your reasons for adding a second dog to your home. A second dog can be a wonderful companion for your first dog, but it is not realistic to expect that the two dogs will keep each other entertained. They might enjoy playing together, but if you are firmly established as the alpha dog, both dogs will seek out your attention and will require a great deal of your time and energy.
– Think of the additional expense of a second dog. The budget for food, toys, treats and medical expenses will increase.
– Train your first dog before adopting a second dog. Trying to train two dogs at once can be difficult. However, if your first dog is already trained, he can be helpful in the training process of the second dog, as the new dog might learn by example.
– The sex of your second dog is very important. If you already have a male dog, adding a female will be easiest. On the other hand, if you have a female dog, adding a male dog is a good idea. Make sure that your current dog is spayed or neutered, and that the second dog is also spayed or neutered. Dogs of the same sex are more likely to fight, and problems can be exacerbated if the dogs have not been fixed.
– The age of your second dog also matters. A younger dog is a good choice. Dogs of approximately the same age are more likely to fight, and adding an older second dog can also result in complications. It is important to consider your dog’s temperament. If your resident dog is not tolerant of puppy behavior and exuberance, you might want to add a dog that is out of the puppy stage.
– Select a comparable breed. For example, you might not want to add a very energetic dog, such as a Border Collie, to your family unless the resident dog is also energetic.
– Before adding a second dog to your home, introduce the new dog to your resident dog in a neutral location. This will prevent territorial fighting.
– When introducing the dogs in your home, do so carefully. At first, put both dogs on a leash. Then, put your resident dog in a crate and allow your new dog to explore the house. Next, put the second dog in a crate and allow your resident dog to explore and pick up the scent of the new dog. This will help you to make sure that both dogs become acquainted with and more tolerant of each other.
– Allow a few weeks for the dogs to adjust to each other. During this time, try not to leave them alone together without supervision. At first, when you are not home, crate one or both dogs to prevent fighting.