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What You Should Know Before Getting a Second Dog

If owning a dog is one of the most beautiful things there is, imagine owning two!

I’m sure pet owners have thought of this at least once, and I bet you have too! 

So we made this blog post about getting a second dog tips and tricks that you should know.

getting a second dog tips

Picture this: Your birthday is coming up and you imagine this new puppy with a bow on their neck making their way to you!

But, wait a moment.

Will this work out with your other doggie at home?

How should you make the introductions?

Is it even viable for you to own a second pet?

Before you dive into round two of pet parenting, we want to give you a little heads-up about what you will be getting into. 

If you’ve already decided and you’re going to get a second doggie, we encourage you to still read this blog post, as you might find some useful information! 

Think about why you’re getting a new family member in the first place

We’re not saying that you need a specific reason to get a second doggie, just to make sure you’re not getting one for the wrong reasons!

Maybe your children or your partner want one, but if all you can think about is that you're not excited about doubling the amount of hair on your sofa, a new companion is not the solution — no matter how persuasive your family is! 

Maybe getting a second dog may appear to be a simple way to help your older pet, who might be suffering from separation anxiety or having a socialization problem.

You have to be careful, as an anxious dog will sometimes transfer his anxiety to a new pet, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

First, you should address your dog's behavioral issues, and then decide whether or not to add a new Fluffy member to your pack.

Related: How to Groom Your Dog at Home Like a Pro

getting a second dog tips

Your Doggie’s opinion matters too! 

We know you're excited about getting a second dog, but don’t forget you already have a Fluffy Friend at home who will also be affected by a new sibling. 

Is your dog comfortable in the company of other dogs, or does he prefer to be alone?

How do his interactions with other dogs go?

It's also a good idea to think about how well your dog handles change.

He may be used to the way things are, and he may not appreciate having his routine or sleeping/eating area disrupted.

When a second canine enters the picture, your current Fluffy family member will experience many changes and may feel displaced.

He might dislike sharing his territory, toys, food, resting spots, or humans.

Is your current dog fully trained and bonded to you?

It’s frequently more difficult for one person to train two young dogs at the same time.

Also, a relevant factor would be your dog’s age.

Many breeders advise waiting until your first dog is at least one to two years old before adding a second pup to the family.

If you have an elderly dog, he may be unable to play with or tolerate a younger dog.

Related: Dog Feeding 101: Choose the Right Food for Your Dog

Take a realistic look at your current living situation

Examine your schedule carefully and be honest with yourself: how much time do you really have to train, love, and integrate a new arrival into the mix?

getting a second dog tips


A second dog requires extra work.

Sure, your current dog will have someone to play with, but that doesn't mean they'll stay out of your hair.

You'll simply have twice the energy and twice the canine shenanigans.

Another time-related question to consider is whether you have any major life events or significant changes coming up.

We're talking about things like starting a new job with a new schedule, having a new baby, moving, or working on a project that will take up your time.

Some questions you can ask yourself:

  • Can your home accommodate a second dog, or is it already overcrowded? 
  • What about your garden or open area? 
  • Is your bed already full, or can you squeeze in another cuddly pup?
  • Will both dogs have enough room to run, play, and have their own safe place? 
  • Have you planned any vacations? (even if you intend to bring the dogs with you on vacation, it will be more difficult with two of them. Road trips can become crowded, especially when you have a large dog.)

Once you’ve figured out these aspects of you and your doggie’s life and decided it’s time to add a new Fluffy Friend to the family, you should also learn about what to do next.

Keep it neutral and reduce rivalry

getting a second dog tips


When the time comes for you to pick up your new doggie, leave your current dog at home.

To avoid territorial aggression, the best thing to do is to let the two dogs meet on neutral ground that is new for both of them.

While you bring the new dog, have a friend or family member bring the current dog to a quiet park or green space.

Take each dog for a short walk and meet at a neutral area. 

Let the dogs investigate one another during the initial meeting.

When two dogs meet, it's normal for them to circle and sniff each other.

They may begin by sniffing rear ends before making eye contact.

Maintain a positive introduction by speaking to the dogs in a pleasant tone of voice.

Examine your dogs' body language and posture for signs of aggression, and intervene if necessary by redirecting the dogs' attention.

If the dog snarls or growls, do not scold them.

This will only serve to suppress their emotions when you are present.

The goal is for the dogs to establish a safe, equitable social hierarchy that will be harmonious even when you’re not present.

You can take the dogs home once they tolerate each other and interact positively.

Remember that the two dogs will form a hierarchy by themselves, with the current dog serving as the alpha.

When you get home, take your original dog inside first, while your helper walks the new addition on a leash, allowing the resident dog to "invite" the new dog home.

Minimize rivalry by giving each dog their own water and food bowls, as well as a bed. Water bowls should be left out all the time, but food bowls should be picked up after meals to avoid food aggression and resource guarding.

Keep an eye on both dogs at all times, especially when they are together until the adjustment period is over.

Don't give the dogs any bones or chewing toys until they demonstrate that they get along.

Your dog will adjust in time and at their own pace with the help of the humans in the house.

Until then, make sure that each dog has time alone with you every day to bond.

Expect your older dog to occasionally correct the new pooch with a growl or snap, especially if it’s a puppy.

An adult dog teaches puppies social skills in this manner. 

Praise and reward your dog with a treat when he doesn’t move away, growl or snap when the newcomer comes or lies down next to him. 

Related: How to Stop Your Dog's Excessive Barking

getting a second dog tips

I believe we can all agree on one thing: you can't beat dog love.

However, as you can see, you must remain responsible and conscious when introducing a new dog into your household.

Line up your pros and cons and see what comes out on top.

Maybe now is the best time for dog number two or perhaps it is better to wait a little before getting a second dog.

If you already have more than one Fluffy Friend, share with our Community how your experience was! Did you have any issues while getting all of them acquainted? What challenges did you encounter or are still facing? 

We’re always excited to read you!

Until next time, 

Stay Fluffy!

Your MrFluffyFriend Team

Looking for some products that could help you out with your training?

Check out our Online-Shop! 

Here some useful products in relation to the blog:

MrFluffyFriend - Furniture Cover

MrFluffyFriend - Dog Bowls

MrFluffyFriend - Anti-Anxiety Dog Bed

Words from our author

Hey! I’m Estiverli, thank you for joining our MrFluffyFriend Blog!

As a pet owner, I often found myself in a very frustrating situation: going to the internet and finding multiple unhelpful and redundant articles about the care and training of pets.

My mission is to create a community blog where you can find all types of information, training tips and tricks, focusing on natural and organic ways of pet-owning and training.

Understanding your pet is like understanding a whole new world - and I want us to discover it together!


  • My 9 1/2 yr old poodle/terrier (20#) has had seizures since I got her at 5 weeks old. She is doing great with meds she takes daily since. Then she contracted SARDS back the month COVID started (march 2000) and became completely blind within 3-4 weeks. She is handling being blind fine, because she has always lived in the same home. But she is sleeping a lot off and on all day. I have been looking for a sister for her and she has nothing to do with other animals. I finally found a 5 yr old, well trained little girl, at a rescue. She has come to my home and my Murphy has nothing to do with her. I love this little girl, but very much worry about Murphy. I always thought a friend would help her and that they would become buddies. I need some advice. What should I do? Thank you so much for your help.❤️
    MrFluffyFriend™ replied:
    Hey Kathleen,

    We’re so sorry to hear that your Murphy went completely blind after getting SARDS and is struggling to adjust to her new sister. Older pets will have more difficulty adjusting to a new pet in the house as they may still be establishing who the alpha is. Typically, it takes about a month to get both dogs settled and get used to each other.

    You could gradually introduce them by letting Murphy get used to the scent and sounds of your new dog. It would also be best to keep a firm hold on one of them to avoid sudden confrontations. If either one shows aggression, it would be best to give them space and try again after a few days.

    Let us know how it went!

    —From Your MrFluffyFriend Team!

  • Looking for Christmas presents

    Phyllis Zamarro
  • A wonderful article. My son and his wife r expecting a first child in Feb and I am 87. Good health etc. my best friend Walter is a wonderful 5 yr old teddy bear. Loves all humans dearly but does not know much about other dogs. Is very loving and submissive. He is fun healthy and gorgeous. I am making plans at my age if something happens to me that Walter is well loved and cared for. My son has 3 yorkies but loves my dog and truly want him and I know he would love him dearly and treat him well however am worried about with a new baby and 3 dogs and he is moving his psychology office home and his wife works from home as an editor just afraid Walter would not get the attention he is used to. I don’t want to hurt my son’s feelings. My vet who has known all my best friends (a Frenchi for 14 yrs and cat 22 years) says he will find the perfect home for Walter or take him home. What should I do. Don’t plan on dying any time soon. Just getting ready for the maybe. Help

    Allie Trosten
  • I do have second Dog for my Missy. now here name is fluffy….They get to sleep in my bed. !! frederick

    frederick klotsch

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