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Should You Get A Second Dog?

Dog Meet and Greet with DKC Staff

It’s sooooooo tempting, isn’t it? The thought of another set of little (or big) paws to pitter-patter about your home; someone for your trusty Toby to tussle with and perhaps a buddy to get into some double-doggish-mischief with. And when you stop to think about it, you’ve already got one little doggeroo in your home, so really, what’s one more? You know that dogs are social, pack-oriented creatures that really crave and indeed thrive on company (almost no one wants to be alone), so do you do it? Do you pull the trigger and welcome doggo number 2 into your home?

Know that if you do the deed, you’re then committed to her for the duration of her life and that could be a really long, looooong time (YIKES!). So before you make the final decision, there are a handful of things to think about, such as: space in your current home; possible future relocations (and the cost thereof); care for the critter while you’re away; expenses for food, vet care, and toys (she’ll certainly need LOTS of new toys to call her very own); and finally, will your existing pooch even accept a new forced-friend?

After you’ve weighed the pros and cons of becoming a two-dog household, and ultimately, impulsively deciding, of course, that you’ve just GOT to take on another pup, you’ve now got to give some thought as to how exactly you’ll introduce the two pups to each other - this is an important step in creating the harmony and the FUN you’re hoping for. So paws for a moment ("paws"... "pause"... get it? ) and chew on this: your home is your resident pooch's domain and YOUR love, attention and affection are currently all his and he’s not had to share any of it… until NOW. Which means that the idea of simply tossing two pups together and expecting them to immediately bond and suddenly bound off together with tails entwined is VERY UNlikely to happen. Therefore, to set the stage for a GREAT first impression, ideally you should introduce the two on a walk… bonus points if you can find a neutral location, e.g. NOT your home. And below are a few other suggestions to get you started on the right track:

  • Just Walk: With the help of another human, begin walking with both dogs on either side of each person and march on. Really tasty treats (CHICKEN!!) in hand are a good idea to distract one from the other.
  • Get a Good Whiff: When the time feels right, allow your resident dog to be the first to sniff the new interloper and then vice versa. Indeed, dogs do seem to be a bit intrusive as to where exactly they sniff, but it’s their equivalent of a canine handshake.
  • No Shouting: Really, it only creates more tension, so keep calm and so will the pooches.
  • Keep it Brief: Try not to rush the process. You’ll know when all is well.

After you’ve had a few opportunities to introduce the soon-to-be best friends and you feel it’s time, give them the chance to romp about in a safe, enclosed area. But hold off introducing any toys at this point, as it will most likely create conflict and bring out the pups’ tendencies to resource-guard. Once your new addition is settled into her new home-sweet-home, it’s best not to leave the two unsupervised until you’re certain that both have established their friendship - the time it takes to reach this point is specific to each and every dog family, so do trust your instincts.  

When poochie number 2 is a full-fledged family member and you’re headed out on holiday, here’s a bit of good news: when you need to board the dynamic duo, there’s always Buddy-Boarding. Read a bit more about it here: A Fair Share

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