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Introducing a Second Dog to Your Pack


new family member

Thinking of adding a new four-legged friend to your pack? Bringing in a new family member can be overwhelming and stressful at times, but it can also be so rewarding! Introducing a new doggo can give your family pup a great playmate and someone to give their cuddles to when you’re out. Here are some tips for introducing your current pupper to their new furry sibling. 

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Know your dog

Nobody knows your pupper better than you. This makes it your responsibility to determine if they’re ready for a new playmate or not. To figure out if your family pup is ready for a furry brother or sister, be sure to take care of any underlying behavioral issues. This could be excessive barking, aggression towards humans or other dogs, or any other behaviors that your new pup could learn from your other four-legged friend. 

Wait for the right time

Is your current pup ready for another doggo in their life? Behaviorists recommend waiting at least 1 year before bringing in a companion for your dog, according to the Barking Lot. It’s important that your current canine feels comfortable enough in the home before welcoming a new addition with open paws. 


Find the perfect dog

What kind of doggo does your current pup enjoy playing with? While looking for a new family member, be sure to consider the tendencies of your own dog first. Is your pupper energetic or more of a couch potato? Bringing in a doggo with high energy levels could be annoying to some senior pups or those who are more laid-back. Also, think about whether your pup is dominant or not. Two dominant furry friends could cause one stressful household. Also, take notice of what gender playmate your doggo prefers. Not only will your pups be thankful, but there will be far less drama in the home if furry family members are compatible. 

Prepare for the introduction

It helps to have their introduction outside of the home in what can be considered neutral territory. Reach Out Rescue & Resources recommends that these meetings happen at least three times before bringing the new pup into the home. If the dogs start to play or they seem disinterested in each other, then the Barking Lot claims that these pups are compatible as housemates.


Make sure there is more than enough of everything

New pupper = toys, toys, and more toys. When bringing in a new furry family member, there is no such thing as too many doggie accessories. To avoid any fights over water bowls, beds, or anything else that your new pup might need, load up on everything dog. 

Allot time for the new dog to get acquainted with the home

Look for a time when the current dog is occupied before letting the new pup explore their new and exciting home. While on a leash, allow the new pup to walk around and get some sniffs in. Besides making sure that the established doggo is comfortable with the new pup, it’s important to remember that the newest addition to your family feels at home. 

Establish some distance

When the dogs are home alone, make sure to keep them separated so that there aren’t any unwanted pup arguments while you’re out. This could be either by crates or baby gates. It will take some time before you can trust their relationship!


Monitor mealtimes 

Keeping an eye-out during chow-time is essential at first. Start by feeding them while they are separated to avoid any tiffs over nibbles. Body language will be a good way to decide when it’s time for furry siblings to share a meal together. Look out for the following signs of aggression: lip curl, pinned back ears, staring for long periods of time. These might be signs that these furry friends need more time to get adjusted with each other before chowing down. 

Looking for a neutral place for your pups to meet? Check out our blog post listing dog-friendly beaches!

Need a dog DNA test for your new pup? Click here to get yours today.

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