How to Introduce a Second Dog into Your Home

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Sparky Steps - How to Introduce a Second Dog into Your Home

How to Introduce a Second Dog into Your Home

Sometimes it is just impossible to say no to a second pair of imploring puppy eyes. If you are thinking about bringing another dog home, whether a puppy or an adult, check out these five tips to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Fashion portrait of a dog wearing sunglasses sitting outdoor in the park

Carefully Arrange the First Introduction

Even if your first dog is well socialized, there is a good chance he or she will feel at least a little territorial about their home and you. A new dog in your home can feel like a threat. When you are ready to introduce the two pups, choose a neutral space outside your home first. Ideally, there will be one person per dog. Keep each of the dogs on a loose leash, allow them to sniff one another, and keep the interaction brief. Watch both dogs’ body language for signs of nervousness or aggression. Once they have had their first interaction, slowly introduce them to shared space in your home.


Do Not Immediately Leave the Dogs Alone Together

Your first dog might be used to having the run of the house while you are at work. Remember when you leave the house to keep the two dogs in separate areas until they are comfortable with one another. Definitely do not try to put both dogs in one crate. You need to know how they interact with one another before allowing them to be together unsupervised. Otherwise, you are risking aggression between the two dogs and potential damage to your home.


Keep Each Dog’s Food Separately

Food can be a major source of competition for dogs. Make sure each dog has his or her own food and water bowl in separate areas.


Don’t Forget Both Dogs Need Attention

Dogs can get jealous, and your first pet will probably feel envious of the new furry interloper. Signs of jealousy could include going to the bathroom indoors, attention seeking, and fighting with the other dog, according to PetMD. Try to preempt jealous behavior by ensuring both pets get equal amounts of attention.


Allow Time for Everyone to Adjust

Dogs are creatures of habit, and a new pet in the house is inevitably going to disrupt the regular routine. Both your first dog and your new dog will need time to adjust to one another and the new environment. Be patient and allow your pups the time they need.

If you are gone at work during the day, remember both pups will need exercise and bathroom breaks. If your two pups aren’t quite comfortable with one another, consider scheduling separate walks. When they become accustomed to one another, you can schedule group walks. Your local dog walkers can do one walk at a time or with two dogs at once.


We'd love to know your story and how two dogs are going for you! Reach out to us on social media and tag us at @sparkysteps cheers!


Written by Carrie Pallardy

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