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Is It Better to Have Two Dogs?

Owning two dogs in your home can bring numerous benefits for you and your pup! However, before introducing a second dog into your family, it's crucial to weigh certain factors. Seek further insights from our veterinarians in Murfreesboro.

Is It Better to Have One or Two Dogs?

By nature, dogs are social and thrive in group environments. Therefore, there are many advantages to adopting a second dog, such as:

  • They can keep each other company
  • Both dogs will be able to entertain each other and get exercise together
  • Your older dog could help you train a new puppy
  • When the dogs have each other, it can help ease separation anxiety
  • You will have two adorable dogs to love

Consider adding a second dog to provide companionship for your first dog, but be aware that integrating them may not be seamless initially. Your first dog may not appreciate sharing their space or toys. The following section will explore key factors to remember when introducing a second dog and strategies to ensure a harmonious transition for all involved.

The Consequences of Adding a Second Dog to Your Home

Adding a second dog to your household might make your first dog feel displaced and uncertain. While most dogs will establish positive relationships with their new sibling, your first dog may not like sharing their toys, territory, space, or even your attention. Thus, it's essential to be well-prepared and conduct thorough research before welcoming a second dog into your home.

The Kind of Dog You Should Get

When getting another pup, it's essential to determine which type of dog will be best for your current dog and your family's lifestyle. For this reason, you need to make sure you are doing more than just checking off a couple of mental boxes. It would be best if you considered factors such as:

  • What size of dog will work best for you and your family?
  • Can your home fit a second dog?
  • Will you have time to play with and care for another dog?
  • What are the exercise needs of your old dog and new dog?
  • Can you afford to take care of a second dog?
  • Will your current dog be able to interact with a puppy, or will an older, more calm dog be best?

By considering these points, you should be able to find a dog that will be a perfect addition to your family or determine if you are ready for a second dog. 

Ways to Help Your Old Dog and New Dog Get Along

If you've decided it's time to add a second dog to your household, take steps to simplify the process and ensure a smooth integration between your two dogs.

Talk to Your Family First

Choosing to introduce a new dog into your home requires a careful process. Consult everyone in your household about their thoughts on the matter and ensure that it aligns with all needs, including your current dog. When deciding to welcome a new pet, take into account your current dog's age, physical capabilities, and personality.

Don't Take Your Current Dog With You

We don't recommend bringing your current dog with you when you pick out your new furry companion. Your dog may distract you when choosing, and the car ride could become very intense.

Introduce Your Dogs on Neutral Grounds

When introducing your two dogs, bring them to a neutral location to minimize the likelihood of territorial aggression. Invite a friend or family member to accompany you, bringing your existing dog to a tranquil park or open area. Join them with your new pup. If you have multiple dogs, you might need extra assistance or have to keep them all on leashes.

Keep Your Dogs Under Control

Maintain complete control of the dogs by holding their leash loosely to prevent them from feeling restricted.

Let the Dogs Get to Know Eachother

Dogs typically meet by circling and sniffing each other. To ensure a positive encounter, communicate with them using a pleasant tone. Watch for signs of aggression and intervene as necessary by redirecting their attention. If the dogs start growling or snarling, refrain from scolding them, as this may cause them to suppress their emotions in your presence. They aim to establish a safe and equitable social hierarchy, even when you're not around.

If your dogs are ignoring each other, that's perfectly fine. Avoid forcing them to interact, as they will naturally get to know each other at their own pace.

Bring Your Pups Home

You can bring your dogs home when they start acting positively with each other. 

Remember that the two dogs will form a hierarchy, where your first dog will typically take the alpha position. For this reason, you should bring your current dog into the home first and have the person helping you walk your new dog on their leash. This allows your original dog to invite your new pup into their domain.

Limit Opportunites for Rivalry

Ensure each dog has its own food dish, water bowl, and bed. After meals, pick up the food bowls to minimize the risk of food aggression. However, leave the water bowls out.

Additionally, retrieve your first dog's favorite toys and items after mealtimes to decrease conflicts as the new relationship develops. Once you are confident that the dogs are getting along, you can return their favorite toys to them.

Remember to Supervise Playtime

We strongly recommend separating both dogs when you're not at home. When it's time for them to play together, closely supervise their interaction. Don't forget to praise them when they interact nicely with each other.

Dedicating daily, quality one-on-one time to each dog is essential to strengthen your bond with them.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you thinking about adopting a second dog? Contact our Murfreesboro vets today if you have further questions.

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