Illustration bg paws red yellow

Introducing a New Dog to the Pack

Team Butternut, 23rd January 2019

Three dog pack

So, you’ve decided that one dog just isn’t enough. Well, we can’t blame you really – double the dogs means double the fun (and cuteness). However, you may have some concerns regarding your current dog and how they may react to this new arrival.

Naturally, your dog won’t be best pals with the new pooch straight away, and the initial introduction can appear to pet owners as a daunting task. Luckily for you, we’ve outlined five things you can do to ensure that your dog welcomes your latest addition with open arms (or paws).

Ask yourself: Is my dog ready for a new playmate?

Bringing a second dog into your life is an exciting prospect. However, it is important to consider whether your current dog is ready to accept that he is no longer the sole pet of the house. If your dog has any behavioural issues, then it may not be the best time for you to give yourself another dog to care for. A new dog can make these matters worse for your current dog and can even lead to your new dog copying these same behavioural issues.

Also, how long have you had your current dog? It is believed that it takes a full year for a dog to get completely used to its new home and bond with its owners. Therefore, it’s important not to get a second dog too quickly after getting your first. We understand how tempting this may be - but resist the urge! It will make life much easier when you do decide to bring in the new pup on the block.

Try not to spoil your dog too much

We all love to spoil our dogs, but it is a good idea to ease off slightly when preparing to bring a new dog into your home. A dog that has constantly been the centre of attention may react badly to suddenly having to share the spotlight with another pup.

Therefore, give your dog a bit of space and try not to give them too much love. You may feel mean doing this, but it will lower the shock of the divided attention when the second dog eventually arrives.

Hide their favourite toys!

Dogs can get quite possessive with their toys can’t they? Whether it be a bone or a squeaky toy, they will claim it as theirs and guard it with their life. Prior to the arrival of your second dog, it’s important to make sure that your current dog’s favourite toys are put out of sight. This will prevent any disputes over who spotted that tattered tennis ball first.

Make use of your dog’s sense of smell

A dog’s sense of smell is far superior to that of a human (10,000 times better to be exact). That’s the reason that dogs are constantly sniffing around: they use scent memory to remember humans and other dogs. How cool is that?!

You can prepare your current dog for a new arrival by introducing them to the smell of your incoming pooch. You could do this by placing a soft toy or towel that the new dog has used in your current dog’s bed. When the new dog is introduced, your current dog will already have a head start in becoming familiar with their new best friend.

Choose your meeting ground wisely

Everybody knows that first impressions are a big deal, but this is also true for dogs. It is important to choose the location of this first meeting wisely in order to avoid any territorial disputes. Pick a neutral location such a local park or your neighbour’s back garden to allow the two dogs to become comfortable with one another before bringing them into your home.

While the task of bringing a second dog into the household may give you a ruff time (sorry), these suggestions should help to prepare your current dog for this new arrival. There may be a little tension at first, but give your dogs time to get familiar with each other and they will be the best of friends in no time.

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