Getting a new puppy is one of the most exciting times for a dog owner, but if you happen to have an older dog already at home, you might be feeling anxious or nervous about how to properly introduce the two. While older dogs have learned the ins and outs of being a part of your family, a puppy won’t quite know how to act for the first few weeks they live with you. With a little preparation and dedication prior to bringing your new puppy home, you can make introductions to your K9 family a breeze!
Proper Preventatives & Vaccinations
First and foremost, your new puppy needs to be up-to-date on all of their vaccinations and preventatives! At VIP Petcare, we’ve made taking care of your new best friend easier than ever with our mobile pet care clinics all across the country. With no appointment necessary, you can bring your new pup by anytime prior to their big introduction; giving us the chance to make sure they are healthy and clear of any fleas, ticks, heartworms, or any other condition that could be contagious to your dog at home.
Before your new pup arrives, it’s best to put away all of the dog toys to avoid any territorial conflict. Once the toys have put up, make sure that both of your dogs have a place to escape to on their own within your home in case they are feeling intimidated or scared. You will also need a separate food bowl strictly for your new dog!
Introducing Your New Dog
Your older dog believes that your house is also his or her house. In order to prevent any territorial aggression, find a neutral area to introduce the older dog to your new puppy. Keep your older dog on a leash while another person has the puppy on a leash. Give them both the chance to sniff and meet each other in a non-threatening way, as dogs can pick up on tension and will act stressed if you are. Also, there’s no need to hold them tightly to your side during the initial introduction, as you don’t want them to feel restricted or constrained.
For the first week or so, both your puppy and your older dog should be watched closely to ensure they are comfortable and at ease with one another. Keeping a close eye on body language will help you understand how they’re reacting to each other. If the puppy is extremely young, he or she may not understand the body language of your adult dog very well. For instance, your puppy will likely want to engage in playtime even if the older dog is showing signs of discomfort. If your older dog is showing any aggression, make sure to separate the two right away. Give them a chance to cool down, and then allow them to be together once again.
Body language to watch out for includes:
• Raised fur on the back of the neck/back
• Prolonged stares
• Display of teeth
• Hunched back
Keep Your Older Dog’s Same Routine
Introduce your older dog’s normal daily routine your new pup, as you will want them both to be on the same schedule in the near future. Each dog should be fed at the same time, go outside at the same time, and go to sleep around the same time; just like in a pack.
Let Your Dogs Get Used To One Another At Their Own Pace
When introducing a new puppy to your adult dog at home, give them a chance to become acclimated with one another at their own pace. Make sure they are introduced in a neutral area with no toys around but don’t force them to be together if they are showing signs of intimidation or aggression. Once they start getting used to each other, supervise their interactions together to make sure no bullying or domination is taking place. Lastly, during mealtime, make sure to feed them away from each other until they both realize that there is no threat present.
Call VIP Petcare Today For Puppy & Adult Dog Vaccinations!
Once your new puppy and your older dog bond, they will love to play together, run together, and sleep right next to one another night after night. To maintain your pack’s health and well-being, make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations and preventatives on a regular basis with VIP Petcare! Specializing in a broad spectrum of pet care for dogs and cats alike, VIP Petcare is your one-stop-shop for all for your furry friends’ health needs. To find a clinic near you, utilize our online pet clinic finder.