Posted by: | September 3, 2016

Considering Adding Another Dog to your Family? Read This


Considering adding another dog to your family?

Most of us who have felt the unconditional love of a dog agree, the more the merrier.

So why not open our homes to even more dogs and collect all the love we can?  Well, that would be ideal.  However, not every dog loves the idea of sharing their love and attention with others.  Therefore, there are many things to consider when adding a new dog to your home.

All dogs are different.  They vary in size, age, breed, temperament, etc…  All of those are important factors when considering the addition of a new dog.

Age is a tremendous factor when adding a dog to your family.  If you already have a dog, you’ll want to add a dog who is similar in age to the dog you already have, or older is fine as well.

Why is this important?

Most people make the mistake of looking for a puppy.  Which is great if it is a life-saving issue.  If there is a puppy in need of a loving home, then by all means, take them.  That’s great because you are saving a life.  If that isn’t the case, you should look for an older dog to add.

When a dog has outgrown puppyhood, they no longer desire to be around puppies.  They are older, more relaxed, and do not want to be bothered with puppy energy and that behavior.  Most older dogs are miserable putting up with puppies bothering them, chewing on them, barking at them, constantly hounding them…  They just want to be left alone; which completely eliminates any desire for companionship with the puppy.  I’ve seen many dogs slip into a long-depressed state because they are so unhappy living with a new puppy.  So unless this is the matter of life or death, do not consider adding a puppy.  Look for a dog similar in age, with the same temperament and/or interests.

Older dogs make the best “new dogs.”

When you add an older dog to your family, the transition should be much easier on everyone.  Not only do you have less training to go through, but they are usually housebroken as well.  The new bonding experience is much easier when you don’t have to worry about potty training.

I’ve been involved in animal rescue most of my life.  I can honestly tell you…  Rescue dogs make the best dogs simply because of their gratitude.  Rescue dogs who get a chance with a new family are so grateful to you for bringing them home, they are happy to just love you forever.

We have many dog walking and pet sitting clients who simply head down to the pound or rescue shelter and adopt the oldest dog there.  That way the older dog can get a new, happy home to live out its last few years.  It’s a beautiful gesture which provides so much meaning and love to everyone involved.  Something to consider.



Territory and Sharing…

Many dogs are territorial and are not open to the idea of sharing their toys, love, attention and family with others.  They may act out.  Maybe they become aggressive with the new addition, maybe they may become sad, depressed and reclusive.  Maybe they will act out by becoming destructive or start going potty inside the house.  These are all normal occurrences.

Here are a few tips to help:

Introduce the dogs in a neutral location.


This will help the current dog feel less defensive, as they do not have to feel guarded for their territory or protective of their family and/or possessions.  It will also help the new dog feel less daunted of having to walk into a completely strange home, with so many things, people and scents to mentally digest at once.  The new dog can learn to sniff everyone out and warm up to its new family, a little at a time.

This introduction is typically done in multiple visits.  The first should be at a quiet park or recreational area.  The less distractions, the better.  If things go well, the next meeting can take place at another park or maybe even outside the new home.  It should take a little bonding period before actually bringing the new dog into its new home.  Remember, these baby steps are the key to help bonding a happy family together for years to come.

Once the new addition has arrived, it is very important to give the new dog its own personal space they can have as their own private area.  This is typically done with crate training.  I won’t get into this here (because crate training is another whole subject on its own, with much to learn).  Along with its crate, it will need its own clean feeding bowl, toys, water bowl, etc…  It’s extremely important to remember that every single dog is an individual and should be treated as such.  Give them the time, space and opportunity to learn who they are and show that to you.  You’ll see their personality, likes, and preferences come out.

One of the greatest things about sharing your home with dogs is the fact that they are not just dogs, they are family members.  Each dog will bring many things to your home: their love, character, energy, preferences and their personalities.  Give them the time, attention, training, and love to thrive.


Tim Heise – The Scottsdale Pet Sitter & Dog Walker
– Certified Pet Care Specialist
Absolute Pet Care LLC – Best of Scottsdale 2013, 2014 – Pet Sitting
Scottsdale, AZ
480 560-3753 (Office Hours 9am – 5pm M-Th)

Tim Heise

Tim Heise

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