Bringing home a new dog is a thrilling prospect, but if you already have a dog, you’ll have to plan their meeting carefully. Dogs are naturally protective of their homes and may see this invader as a threat to their territory. To make sure their introduction goes peacefully, read the following guide from the veterinarians at Waipahu Waikele Pet Hospital of Waipahu, HI. They explain the do’s and don’ts of having your old and new dogs meet.
Have the Meeting on Neutral Territory
Your old dog might not take well to a stranger occupying their turf. Veterinarians recommend you have your dogs meet on neutral ground, where neither of them have claimed ownership. A dog park or friend’s yard would make great impartial locations. If you frequent areas where your old dog is used to encountering others, those could also be good introductory spots.
Stay Calm, But Remain in Charge
Dogs can sense anxiety, so be calm during the meeting. Showing nervousness tells them that there’s something to worry about, which can make them extra defensive. Keep a loose grip on leashes so they can sniff each other out freely. Be composed, but firm. If they start showing signs of apprehension, offer some soothing words and encouragement. Use a stricter tone if things one of them starts to get too pushy.
Place Cages Next to Each Other
Many dogs use cages or kennels as a private oasis to rest or cool down. Having a stranger near their safe spot, whether they’re getting along or not, can be stressful. Be sure to put them in separate areas of the home, where they can’t see one another. When things get tense, instruct them to go to their cages. They may even go on their own. Encourage proactive attempts to calm themselves, rather than fighting.
Ignore Warning Signs or Aggression
Attentively watching how your dogs interact will indicate how well they’re getting along. Playfulness, calm sniffing, and submissive behaviors are signs your dogs are off to a great start. On the other hand, if there’s a lot of growling, teeth baring, and raised hackles involved, they need more time to get used to one another. Always keep a close eye on their interactions for your new dog’s first few weeks at home. If their relationship doesn’t improve in that time, talk to your veterinarian about your options.
For expert veterinarian guidance and professional medical treatment, trust in Waipahu Waikele Pet Hospital. They’ve been serving the pets of Oahu for over 40 years with a wide range of pet health services, from housebreaking to diagnostics to exotic animal care. Give them a call at (808) 671-7387 or send them a message online to learn more. In the case of an emergency, their hospital is open to patients 24/7.