Adopting a new friend for your precious puppy is always an excellent idea—it’ll have someone to play with at home and will be more likely to use its energy playing with the new dog instead of getting into trouble. If you want a smooth transition into becoming a two-dog home, make sure to prepare yourself for the responsibilities that come with a second dog. Learn about what to know before you adopt a second dog to ensure that your pups start off on the right paw with each other.
Don’t Bring Your First Dog With While Searching for a New Dog
Your dogs will have a chance to meet, but it shouldn’t be at the shelter or store where other animals can distract them from the first encounter. Your current dog should stay at home until it’s time to meet the new dog.
Instead of bringing it with you when you pick out your new pet, drive your first dog to an empty park to meet the one. This way, neither dog will have an established territory, and they can meet on equal ground. Make sure to keep them on leashes during their first encounter. A good first impression can help both pooches settle into the different atmosphere at home!
Know How Well Your Dog Interacts With Other Dogs
Even the smallest dog breeds can interfere with a peaceful transition to a two-dog home if they’re aggressive. Watch how your current dog interacts and socializes with dogs at dog parks and on walks. As an essential part of what to know before you adopt a second dog, make sure that your current dog can handle socializing with other pets. The knowledge can help you figure out what kind of dog you should get as your second dog—whether you need an energetic puppy or an easy-keeping adult dog.
If it can’t handle interacting with other peoples’ dogs, you may need to hold off on adopting the second dog until you’ve properly trained and socialized your first one. Leaving your canine companion with a trusted dog boarder or daycare while you’re away can help ease it into socializing with others.
Double Up on Toys and Equipment
Unlike some pets that may not develop rivalries while playing with toys, dogs can quickly become jealous of another dog in their territory. Ensure that your dogs have separate water bowls, food dishes for their dog food, and toys before bringing the new one home. Your dogs may or may not work out their rivalry over time; you should expect to continue buying separate toys for each for as long as you own them. If the dogs get growly near their food dishes even when there’s no food, put the dishes away whenever it’s not dinnertime.