Tips for adding a second dog to your family

While adding a second dog to your family is exciting, it can also be a bit stressful and require more time and patience as you cultivate a relationship between your two dogs. You can’t just put the two dogs together and expect them to get along and entertain each other. Help them become BFFFs (Best Furry Friends Forever) with these helpful tips for creating a happy multi-dog household.

Create A Positive Environment

While dogs are social pack animals, they also have territorial instincts and can feel threatened by a new puppy in their space. As a pet parent of two, it is important to remember to always be in control of the situation and take things slow. As the dogs learn to adjust to life together, keep an eye on their body language and don’t leave them alone while playing.  For more tips, click here.

Don’t Play Favorites

Just like having multiple children, having more than one dog requires you to love each of them equally and celebrate their unique personalities. For example, maybe one dog is the ultimate cuddler while the other one is great to take to out on a run. Celebrate each of them individually for the joy they bring to your life!

Share Your Attention

Don’t think your dogs won’t notice a difference in attention, they will. It’s easy for them to pick up on one pup getting more walks, access to special spaces (like the bed), more bones and/or attention from the pet parent. However, they won’t hold it against you as they are unlikely to exhibit jealousy like humans. As you spend a significant amount of time training your new pup to become a well-socialized dog, find ways to involve your older dog. This also helps to reinforce good behavior in your new dog, as they will learn and emulate the behavior of their sibling.

Treat Your Dogs Equally

All dogs in the house should have one set of rules that they all follow. If one pup is allowed on the couch, then all the dogs in the family should be let on the couch. If one pup gets a solo-play session in the backyard, then the other dogs should get an equal amount of alone time with the pet parent doing something they enjoy.

Establish Who Is In Charge

In multiple dog households, it is crucial that the dogs understand that the pet parent is in charge, not them. The pups should be taught to respond to basic commands; wait their turn for treats, meals and belly rubs; and having the leash put on and taken off. This will help to minimize the risk of conflict between the dogs.

Maintain Proper Socialization

Pet parents often think that if they have two dogs at home, they will entertain each other and get the proper amount of socialization and exercise they need from the comfort of home. Remember, dogs are pack animals and are used to being around other dogs and humans. Can you imagine if you only got to interact with the same people and never got to leave the house? Dogs feel the same! To maintain a happy and balanced pack, the dogs need to get out of the house at least four times a week.

Need help with fun activities for your dog? At Dogtopia daycare, dogs enjoy socialization, exercise and education in an open-play environment that is fun, safe and extremely clean. Separated by size and temperament and supervised by certified Canine Coaches, your dog will play in our state-of-the-art playrooms with tons of BFFFs, burn off energy and learn through brain games designed to improve behavior and manners. Let Dogtopia help you develop a well-balanced dog! Find a daycare near you.