Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Introducing a New Dog into Your Home

As the saying goes, a dog is a man’s (or woman’s) best friend. They not only enrich our lives but help us live longer and healthier lives. Nothing beats the excitement your dog has when you walk through the door after a long day at the office. Whether you think another dog will make the household more complete, or you want your current dog to have a playmate during the day, you probably have been considering getting another dog.

However, as exciting as the process may be, it can also cause pet owners stress and discomfort. Introducing a new dog to your other dog(s) is no easy task. You want the new dog to feel comfortable in his/her forever home. On the other hand, you want to be sure your current pet doesn’t end up feeling neglected.

Luckily, we know a thing or two about dogs. We want to help make the introduction process run as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips for both your new dog and current dog.

Introducing Fido to the new friend. 
Before you decide to adopt your companion, you probably will want to have the two dogs meet. When you do this, make sure to do so in a natural location. Bringing the new pet home might cause Fido to become territorial. Take Fido for a walk in the neighborhood, to a friend’s house or the park, although you should be wary of a park you have often frequented, as your dog may see this as his/her territory.

Since you do not know what to expect during the first encounter, make sure a different person has control of each dog on a leash. If things get tense, you will be able to easily separate the animals.

Don’t force anything. 

During the first introduction, let the dogs sniff each other, but don’t force them to stick around. They may not seem interested in each other, and that is fine. The process takes time. Don’t force them to engage with each other; let it happen naturally. It may even take some time after you bring your new dog home, so remain patient and go slowly.

A little positivity goes a long way.
During these introductions use a happy tone of voice. This encourages play and will ease any tension they may still have. If they have a good introduction, reward them for their good behavior. Remember, you may have to continue these brief introductions in a neutral zone a couple of times before they get used to the other’s presence.

Stay observant.
Pay attention to both dog’s posture and appearance. If you see open mouths and playful bows (when a dog lowers his front paws and puts his butt in the air), this is a good sign. Growling and tense muscles are signs to slow things down. You should separate them and try again at a later time.

Go home afterwards.
After both dogs are comfortable and seem to get along, it’s time to take the new dog home. Make sure they each have separate water and food bowls, and it is probably a good idea to keep them in different areas. Encourage all good behavior, and their natural house and pet dynamic (one dog will naturally become the alpha, which is a good thing.)

About the Author:
 Ron Burg is an avid fan of pet sitting and everything about pets. He is also a blog writer and writes primarily for buckheadpaws.

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