5 tips for adding a second dog to your family

Written by Pamela Hardman  | Published on: 8/16/2019

There are many wonderful things that come along with having a dog as part of your family – companionship, an exercise buddy and even a playmate for your kids! But, sometimes one dog doesn’t feel like enough. There are many benefits to adding a second dog to your family, but there are some things to consider before you visit a shelter or contact a breeder.

1.    Does your pup get along with other dogs? How does your dog do at the dog park? Does it seem like he would like to have a live-in canine playmate? Does he get jealous easily? Remember, some challenges can be worked on but if you’re adding a second dog, it’s important to find the right fit for both your family and your current dog.

2.    Make some considerations. While there are no guarantees, there are things you can consider as you’re looking for a second dog. Things like temperament, size, sex, age and breed can play a part in whether or not a new dog is going to get along with your current dog. As an example, if your current dog is a 12-year-old poodle, it might not be a great idea to bring home an energetic lab puppy.

3.    Arrange a meeting. Try not to get too attached to a new dog before your current dog has had a chance to meet her. Even good-natured dogs don’t get along with other dogs sometimes. Pick a neutral place like a park and keep both dogs on a leash. Remember to give plenty of treats for good behaviour! If the two aren’t best friends right off the bat, it might not mean they won’t come to like each other. You know your dog best and you’ll know if it’s something you can work on together.

4.    Visit the vet. Before your dog meets a new dog to decide if they’re a good fit for your family, it’s important to make sure he’s up-to-date on all his vaccines and he’s been given a clean bill of health from your vet.  

5.    Remember who came first. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of a new dog and that’s normal but it’s important for you to make time for and give just as much attention to your original dog. The disruption to his routine and his life is probably stressful and showing him love and attention can help to reassure him that the addition of a new dog is a positive change!