Is it a good idea to adopt a new dog when you have a senior dog at home?
THINGS TO CONSIDER.
Are you thinking about adopting a second dog? If you have a senior dog in your home, there are a few important things to consider before you take action. After all, your dog has an important place in your family, and his feelings are important. Your senior dog has set routines and a well-established relationship with the members of your family, all of which could become upset with the introduction of a new dog.
Proper introductions when bringing a new dog into a family with a senior dog, it's important to make sure that the two dogs get along harmoniously. Getting them both off on the right paw is vital to their future relationship, so make sure you introduce the dogs prior to "moving in" day. It's a good idea to do this in a pleasant environment on neutral ground, not in what will be their shared home. Both dogs should be kept leashed during the meeting, with a caregiver for each dog. This ensures that it will be easy to separate them if they start to show signs of aggression. If there is growling, or other signs of aggression, separate the dogs, distract them each with play, and then try again.
Don't scold; it’s important that you do everything possible to make the experience pleasant, as this is what they will remember about the other dog. The transition will be easier if they associate each other with treats and a fun day at the park, rather than being reminded of a scolding when they see the other dog. Of course, part of ensuring that the experience is pleasant is to be sure that the dogs are up-to-date on their vaccinations.
If you have an older dog, and are bringing a puppy into your home, the older dog may feel that his turf is being invaded. As a result, he may be wary of the puppy. To help the senior canine feel more comfortable, it's a good idea to wait until the puppy is asleep before you introduce the dogs. While keeping a firm grip on the older dog's collar, let him sniff around the puppy. Also, make sure the older dog gets some quiet time alone with you during the first few weeks of him sharing his home with the puppy.
These "Introduction Tips" will go a long way to creating a pleasant atmosphere and harmonious relationship between your old and new canine companions.