• Timing and space are critical when bringing a second dog home
      Timing and space are critical when bringing a second dog home
      Timing and space are critical when bringing a second dog home
      March 31, 2014

      Some owners love their dogs so much that they want a second one, but just like having a second child can create feelings of inadequacy in the first-born kid, a new dog can lead to stress and other issues for the current pet. If not properly introduced, the two dogs may clash over territory and attention. In a worst case scenario, they may even become hostile to each other.

      Owners that want a harmonious relationship between their old pets and their new ones should take their time when bringing home a new dog. Easing into the new living situation will help the new dog be more comfortable with his unfamiliar home, as well as allowing the current dog to adapt to the new circumstances. If both dogs are given enough space, chances are much greater that they will get along for the rest of their lives.

      Using sense of smell to acclimate new and old dogs
      Dogs use their noses much more than humans, and identifying other animals is a primary goal of their heightened sense. PetMD explained that when introducing a new dog to an environment that has already had another living there for quite some time, acclimating both animals to the new living situation requires exposing them little by little to each other's odors.

      This can be done in several ways, but simply separating the two dogs into cages or rooms and letting them smell each other from a distance can be enough to help the animals sense that there is another dog in their environment. Giving one of the old dog's toys to the new one can help as well.

      An owners' presence is crucial
      Both dogs are likely to be experiencing a great deal of stress when they meet each other. The Ohio state University College of Veterinary Medicine explained that owners should pick a time to bring a new dog home when they know they will have an extended period of time off from work, school or other obligations.

      Not only will this give owners the opportunity to monitor the dogs' behaviors with one another, but having their favorite human around will most likely let them both know that this new situation is permanent. With a dedicated period of time to acclimate both dogs to their new living arrangements, owners may ensure a smooth transition for all involved.

      This content is provided by the pet wellness experts at Hartz. We know that adopting a dog or cat is a huge commitment, so we're here to help you feel confident and become the best pet parent you can be.