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Adding A New Dog To The Family

Is there Ever a ‘Right Time’ To Add Another Dog?

In our experience probably not! You may have a formula that works – for example a certain age difference in between dogs, or maybe you add a dog for a specific purpose or just because it feels like the right time. Here are some things you may want to consider if you are struggling deciding:

Your Existing Pet/s

Is it the right time for your existing pets? Have they got to a level of training and skills that you are happy with? If your existing dog is elderly, how would they cope with a younger dog or puppy?

Behavioural Influence

Existing pets with any behaviour problems have a high chance of influencing your new pet – for example, separation distress and other anxiety related behaviours, excessive barking, and reactivity.

Your Budget  

A new dog means training class fees and extra food bills, including treats! Plus, beds, toys, equipment – the list goes on! When managing a multi dog household you will find your treat consumption will go up, especially while training and managing behaviours.

Your Time

More pets equal more time especially if you get a puppy. You may find you need to walk your dogs separately or give different outings to each dog taking into consideration their developmental stage. A puppy for example will take at least a 12 month socialisation commitment.

The introduction period where you are carefully managing interactions and behaviours could be a couple of weeks if you are lucky, but it’s normal to stretch to months or even years.

Human Emotional Toll

Adding a new dog can be an emotional roller coaster and things may not go exactly to plan. It may bring up feelings of guilt towards existing dogs as you must spend more time with the new dog, or if the dogs don’t get along as you anticipated.

One thing is for certain – it is important to treat each dog in a multi dog household as an individual and not adopt a one size fits all approach.

It can be hectic, exhausting and time consuming, but put the work in and your dogs will reward you a million times over. 💚💙💜💛❤🤎