Introducing a New Dog to Your Resident Dog

How do I best add a second pet?

Temptation lurks in the form of a sweet fuzzy face and deep brown eyes, and suddenly you’re contemplating adding to your canine brood. Should you? If you do, how do you introduce the two? First, do your homework.

  1. Don’t think a second dog will take your place to entertain the first dog. You’re the one they want. Dogs are pack animals, and a second dog will add play and joy to the day, but your attention and love is their goal.
  2. If you train your resident dog first before you think about the addition of a second dog, your resident dog will actually help with the training! Because dogs are pack animals by nature, it is natural for them to pick up behaviour from their own kind, so just make sure it is good behaviour.
  3. Choose complementary breeds and personalities.
  4. Realize the financial liabilities. Double everything, and then add a bit more.

If you still want a second dog, introduce them on neutral ground. They’re much more likely to defer territorialism, and think, “Hey, you want to come to my house?” and accept each other. Give them time to adjust.

Provide separate beds, water and food bowls. While some dogs don’t mind sharing, others are quite possessive and your first puppy may feel displaced if he suddenly has to share. Take some alone time with each dog every day. Both will need reassurance from you and time to display their affection.

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While it’s tempting to slip your dog something off your, some foods are unsafe for dogs. Read our Purina article for a list of foods that are harmful to dogs.