Adopting a new puppy is an exciting time for any pet owner. It’s somehow akin to bringing home a new baby — there’s a lot of anticipation and preparation involved. If you already have a dog, though, you’ll need to take some extra steps to ensure that the introduction goes smoothly. After all, you want your furry family members to get along! Here are some tips on how to introduce your new puppy to your dog:
How to Introduce Your New Puppy
Acquaint the Older Dog with Things That Belong to the New Pup Days Before You Bring the New Pup Home
Similar to how you might slowly introduce a new person into your life by first talking about them, you’ll want to start this process several days before they actually meet. This way, when the big day comes, the old dog won’t be surprised by a strange new creature in their home.
You can do this by placing the pup’s food bowl and toys in the older dog’s area, letting them sniff around and get used to the new smells. You can also put a blanket that the pup has slept on in the older dog’s bed, so they can get used to their scent.
Let the First Meeting Be in a Neutral Environment
When it’s finally time to introduce your two dogs, you’ll want to do it in a neutral territory where neither of them feels like they’re on their home turf. This will help to prevent any territorial disputes from breaking out. You might take them both for a walk in the park, or if you have a backyard, let them meet each other there.
Keep bothat first, and let them sniff each other without getting too close. Once they seem comfortable with each other, you can allow them to approach and interact more freely. Just be sure to supervise closely and intervene if either dog starts to show signs of aggression.
Keep Their Items Separate
To continue the neutrality and to allow the initial interactions to be as smooth as possible, it is best to keep your older dog’s and pup’s items separate. This means having two food and water bowls, two beds, and two sets of toys. You may even want to put the puppy’s things in a different room initially.By doing this, you are helping to establish clear boundaries and giving each dog its own space.
Be Patient and Don’t Force It
Just like with people, some dogs will hit it off right away while others may need some time to warm up to each other. The key is to be patient and let them take things at their own pace. If you try to force them to interact too soon, it could lead to a negative association that could be difficult to overcome.
Start by letting them sniff each other from a distance and gradually move closer until they are comfortable being in the same space. It’s also important to provide plenty of positive reinforcement in the form of treats and praise when they are around each other. With a little patience and effort, you’ll soon have two happy dogs that are ready to play together.
These are just a few things to keep in mind when introducing a new puppy to your dog. Remember, each situation is unique so make sure you take things slowly and pay attention to how both dogs are behaving.
Adopt a Puppy from The Barking Boutique
If you’re preparing to adopt a puppy and are not sure where to start, reach out to our team at The Barking Boutique. We’ll answer any questions you may have and set you up with a healthy, well-socialized pup that will fit well into your home. Contact us today to learn more about our adoption process and how we can help you provide the best possible home for your newest family member.