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Does my dog need a second dog as a friend? Friendship is the spice of life and provides comfort, companionship, and fun. You may have wondered if your dog also longs for a BFF.

The team at Westarbor Animal Hospital gets the question of whether dogs need to have companions. There are several factors that go into answering this question. If you’ve been considering adding a second dog to give your pet some company, we’re here to explain what you need to know.

Does Your Dog Need a Pal?

Dogs are one of the most formidable of all pack animals. They thrive in groups, so it is no wonder why canines seek out other canines. In the best of circumstances, this can be a great situation in which both pets bond and share the joys of togetherness. From playtime to naptime, bonded dogs have an increased sense of safety, security, confidence, and general well being.

Except when they don’t.

There are some situations when a dog just doesn’t want to get along with others. Or, other times, when dogs just aren’t a good match in personality, size, and energy level. There are a few factors to address when thinking about adding a second dog. If you have a cat, here is advice for introducing a new dog to your cat.

What Is Your Dog’s Temperament?

If your dog is a total mama or daddy’s fur baby, they may not appreciate having another dog. This, of course, steals from the ample attention they get as an “only child.” On the other hand, your dog may look for every dog at the park or in the public to run up and play with. They love other dogs. Knowing what your dog’s personality is goes a long way in an informed decision about whether they want a second dog in the home.

What Is Your Dog’s Energy Level and Play Style?

If your dog is non-stop and always wants to engage in play, adding a second dog is a great way to keep them exercised and entertained. High energy dogs thrive with other dogs who can match their energy and enthusiasm, as long as they are both socialized and trained. Socialization is key.

Dogs who are older and have been alone for most of their life may not adjust well to the presence of another dog. Likewise, ill dogs or those who prefer to lounge around the home solo, would have their fur ruffled by a rowdy young pup.

Ensuring that both dogs are a good match for each other requires knowledge of their level of socialization, training, and personality. This is why choosing your next furry companion is a careful process with some things to keep in mind.

Best Practices When Adding A Second Dog

Before you get ahead of yourself with excitement, take some time to consider the careful adjustment of a new dog. Some questions to ask yourself include:

  1. Do you have the space to keep your new dog isolated for a few weeks? This is important to acclimating both pups to one another while keeping the peace. Let them sniff each other under the door, or provide them towels with the smell of both dogs to get them each used to the dual doggo situation.
  2. Do you have the time to supervise? You will need to spend time with both dogs equally and supervise the first few interactions. Make sure your dogs get along and one is not trying to bully the other. Encourage play but discourage resource guarding by being mindful during feeding and toy time.
  3. Can you be the pack leader? Managing multiple pets requires you to be the top role in the hierarchy. Set yourself up as the leader by enforcing the house rules and social order of the home. This alpha role not only discourages fights but also instills a sense of security between your two fur kids.

If you are considering adding a second dog to the home and have questions, call us. We are your go-to source for all pet-related concerns and questions. We can help you in making a beautiful friendship between your puppy companions. We look forward to seeing you and yours at their next wellness exams.

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