How To Introduce a New Dog to My Current Dog

You may have the sweetest, most well-behaved pooch on the planet, but bring home a new furry addition and the tables can turn pretty quickly.  Dogs tend to mark their territory loud and proud, taking claim on particular toys, rooms, furniture, and even people. That means adding a new addition to the family can be pretty hard on your existing alpha dog.

But, not to worry! Just because it may be difficult, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. To ease the burden and help make the transition a smooth one for both you and your pups, here are some of our top tips to start introductions off on the right paw.

  1. Keep their living quarters separate at first. We don’t want your current dog to feel like the new addition is threatening to rule his roost. For that reason, we suggest keeping cages and sleeping quarters in completely separate rooms in the beginning.
  2. Get them used to each other’s scent. Before you go ahead and let your dogs have their first off-leash encounter, start swapping some “scent articles” in and out of their cages. By giving each dog a toy or blanket with their other’s scent on it, you’ll be pre-introducing them, which will make it easier when it comes to the real deal.
  3. Keep your current dog at bay while the new dog is allowed to play. Take dog #1 for a walk, while dog #2 explores his new digs. He’ll have to opportunity to check things out uninterrupted, while also introducing his scent to the more sensitive areas of the home — i.e., dog #1’s favorite naptime spot.
  4. Make their face-to-face meeting off-site. After several days or weeks (however long it takes for dog #1 to stop feverishly investigating every time dog #2 has been in the area), it’s time to schedule a true meeting. For the safety of both you and your dogs, you should always plan these introductions on neutral, enclosed territory.

Are you considering adding a new furry friend to your family? Before you let him frolic with his new big brother or sister, it’s important to make sure he has all his shots and is deemed to be in good health by a licensed veterinarian. That’s where Berkeley Heights Animal Hospital comes in! We offer comprehensive care for your pet: from routine check-ups and emergency medical care, to dentistry, surgical procedures, and more.

For more information about our veterinary services, or to schedule an appointment, call 908-464-0023 or fill out our “Ask a Vet” request form online.

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