How to Bring a Puppy Home to Your Older Dog
Deciding it’s time to add a new puppy to your family is a major decision. And if you already have pets in your home, your decision can get a little more complicated, especially if you have an older dog. Introducing a new puppy into any home takes patience. But in households with established pets, you also have their feelings to consider.
Being properly prepared for the addition of your new pooch encourages a smooth transition for everybody. When introducing a new puppy to an older dog, you’re going to want to take every precaution to reduce potential stress to either animal. Your ultimate goal is for these two to make friends and bond. Both pets deserve comfort and love.
Since almost all puppies lack the grace and social skills of your mature animal, pay attention to the younger dog. Look for underlying clues to his temperament as the two interact. Whether due to arthritis, medical conditions or just the grumpiness of aging, older dogs sometimes become irritated by the inexhaustible energy of younger dogs. Introducing a new puppy should always be done under controlled circumstances.
It may be ideal to have the dogs meet on neutral ground before bringing them both into your home together. This is an excellent way to prevent your older dog from feeling territorial. This first meeting can even guide your decision when choosing a puppy that’s best suited to your beloved family pet.
After deciding on the best meeting place, follow the basic guidelines for introducing a new puppy to improve your chances of success. Consider tips that may help, such as:
- Do your best to keep the younger dog as calm as possible and controlled on a leash
- Keep yourself and other family members (especially the kids) as calm as possible. Animals have the ability to pick up on your emotions. If you’re nervous, they will be too.
- Allow the older dog to make the initial approach — in his own time and on his own terms. A nose-to-nose or nose-to-butt meeting is natural in the dog world.
Don’t force this first interaction. This process may require a few adjustments. It’s highly likely that the older dog will attempt to put the excitable puppy in its place several times throughout the course of their unfolding friendship. This is an invaluable way for your older dog to establish his authority in the home and their relationship. While it’s completely normal, pay attention to cues from either animal. Watch for any signs of aggression so you know if things are getting out of hand.
Living in Harmony
It’s only natural for there to a considerable difference in the energy levels between your new puppy and your aging companion. Supervising and chaperoning all their early interactions are advisable. You want to be certain they’ve fully adjusted to each other before leaving them by themselves.
It’s recommended that they have separate sleeping spaces at first. This ensures your older pet gets all of the undisturbed rest he needs. Make their separate sleeping spaces as comfy and inviting with their very own beds. Give them some guaranteed puppy pleasers that add to the ambiance of positive encouragement and joyful cohabitation, such as:
- A stylish rattan dog bed that’s cozy enough for old and young pups alike
- Teepees that make for a contemporary splash in any home
- And Italian beds redefine doggy luxury in anybody’s book
Introducing a new puppy is a delicate procedure, especially at dinner time. Dogs get very possessive of their food. Feeding them separately is always a good idea until they are more comfortable with each other. At the same time, your house doesn’t need to lose its Feng Shui feel that you’ve worked so hard to establish, even with pets in the home. Splurge on new bowls:
- Order matching dog bowls to add cohesiveness to your kitchen (or wherever they eat). Available in nine vibrant colors, these bowls allow you to find the shade that best complements your décor and their temperament.
- Stylish bowls with matching treat jars are also available to spruce up your space and let your dogs know when they’ve been especially good.
Introducing a new puppy into your home also means making room in your lives and in your hearts. But it also means making your new pet feel at home. Give the family bonding a little boost with items such as:
- High-quality customizable collars that proudly proclaim both pooch’s places to the world
- Matching cashmere sweaters to add warmth in the colder months and say, “yes, we’re all together”
Happily Ever After
After the main introductions are over, you can pretty much step out of the way. Give your pets the time they need to establish their own places in the home and in your life. The family’s normal routines will grow and develop around those positions. And don’t forget that it’s important to give them each individual, loving attention as well as group time. Continue to work on social skills, particularly for the new pup, who’s in training.
Introducing a new puppy into the life of your older pet may seem daunting, but ending up with love and friendship are more than worth the trouble. Be sure that you spoil them just as much as they deserve because after all, puppies of all ages love treats and toys. Reward their newfound relationship and encourage even closer bonds with a few new additions to playtime, such as:
- Mini Z Bones from Canine Styles are healthy and delicious. They freshen doggie breath, clean teeth and are easily digestible for both puppies and seniors.
- Antler Chews are fun additions to treat time. And you’ll be happy to know that they’re organic and long-lasting. Antlers come in three sizes too, so there’s a new chew toy for any size pup — although if you don’t want to foster any jealousy, both can enjoy the big chews.
- Choose from a wide variety of toys to please any dog’s personality and playful tendencies.