Wednesday, May 7, 2008

5 Important Tips For Adding A Second Dog

Getting a second dog introduces a new dimension to your family and can add both fun and interest. However, it can create problems if your existing dog turns jealous when the new dog arrives. If you stop to think about it, it's not much different than when you introduce a new baby in the family and your existing child or children become upset because they have to now compete for attention with the newborn.
Dogs are territorial
The first thing to understand is that dogs are very territorial. If you bring a new dog or even a parakeet or turtle into your home, the dog will naturally want to assert its dominance.
How can you tell if you have a problem? Your dog may try to assert his or her dominance. It may fight with the new dog, try to eat its food, or play roughly with it. Keep in mind that this is normal and you should not interfere with it. The fact is, the new dog may have to play a secondary role until it is fully accepted by the older dog.
Five Important Tips
Here are five valuable tips that can help make it easier for both the new dog and the older dog.
1. If you find that dogs are fighting constantly, you may have to separate them for awhile. One good way to do this is to crate the new dog. If this is not possible, you might be able to keep them in different rooms until the older dog becomes more familiar with the new arrival.
2. When you to introduce the new dog to the older dog, do not favor it over the older dog. Treat them both equally. It may take time for the new dog to acclimate to his or her new surroundings. And it also may take some time for your older dog to become used to the new arrival.
3. Take your older dog out for a walk. It's important to let the older dog know that you are still there for him or her and that your routine has not changed simply because you have a new dog. Make sure you continue to play and interact with the older dog. Praise him up when he listens and give him a treat when he obeys your commands.
4. Make sure you put out food and water dishes for each dog but give preference to the older of the two. Remember that the older dog was there first and deserves your respect.
5. Create a routine that involves both dogs. If you give one dog a treat, make sure you give the other dog a treat, too. If you buy dog toys, they fight over them until the new dog gives up. They will eventually work it out. Do not feel that you have to constantly correct everything they do.
When should you become involved?
When is the only time you should become involved? It's if they fight constantly. They may fight in the beginning but this should taper off over time. And you should not leave them alone for long periods of time.
When you introduce a new dog, it takes patience, love, time and attention. But the two will eventually become the best of friends.
Food that can cause your dog to die before its time
Did you know that many dogs die prematurely due to the food they eat? It's true. Dog foods loaded with preservatives can shorten your dog's life by years. Click here to learn about foods that can kill your dog and what you can do to help your dog live a longer, healthier life.

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