If you're considering getting another dog, or introducing a new pet to your household, there are a few things you should consider before you do. While it is a good thing that you want to provide a forever home for another animal, you need to remember that you already have a dog so adding another pet into the mix can upset the balance of your household.
Introducing your pooch to another dog can be incredibly stressful, not only for you but for your dog as well. For starters, bringing another animal into your house will instantly have your dog getting territorial. This is why you need to make any introduction a gradual one.
Initially, you should aim to separate the dogs, allowing no visual contact. While they can't see each other, they will be able to smell each other, which will help them become familiar with the scent.
You should also take a toy or blanket from each of the dogs and place with it the other. This will further help them get used to the other's scent and start to create a bond between them both.
You should allow the new dog you are introducing to your home to have a wander around when your other dog is kept in a separate room. This will help them get used to your home while also allowing their scent to spread through the property.
Ideally, you want to enable your new pet to do this for several short periods of each day. In between these exploration times, you should allow your older dog to move around the house. This will enable them to get used to the other animal's scent throughout the house.
You may find that your dog gets a bit confused at the fact there is a foreign dog smell in the house, so it is important that you stay close and give them attention. Stroking your dog and letting them stay near you will help to comfort them and calm them down.
Once both dogs are used to the other's scent, you should introduce them. However, you should not do this in your home or garden.
You need to make the introduction on neutral grounds, such as a neighbour's garden or park where other dogs are unlikely to interfere. Ideally, the area should be enclosed to avoid either dog running away.
You should then let your dog run around the area for a while, keeping the new dog out of sight. Switch the pooches to allow the new one to play in the area while the other is out of the way. This will allow the dogs to smell each other in the area.
The dogs should then both be brought into the area, allow them to smell each other and say hello with no aggression.
This is a reasonably stress-free way to introduce them and will ensure they start their relationship off the right way, making your life much easier. Once you bring them both home together, they will already have bonded and are most likely to be good friends.
Written by: Hannah Dyball