Are you considering adding a second dog to your household? You’ll need to proceed carefully with introductions. First impressions are a big deal to our canine companions. That first meeting will set the tone of the relationship between Fido and Rocky. It’s extremely important for it to go smoothly. In this article from Westside Animal Hospital, a Savannah, GA vet offers some advice on this.
Choose Neutral Ground
Dogs are pretty territorial. Introducing them on one pup’s turf could immediately set them at odds, as Fido may instinctively try to defend his territory. Pick a neutral area, such as a park. Ideally, you’ll want a spot where you can let your canine pals off-leash if things go well. If you have a willing friend with a fenced yard and no dogs of their own, that would be a great option. Remove anything the pups could fight over, like toys or beds.
Watch Body Language
You’ve probably seen how pooches greet each other: the butt sniff. Dogs can pick up all sorts of information about one another from scents! Fido and Rocky can determine how old the other pup is, if they are male or female; if female, if they are pregnant or nursing; and if they are sick or healthy.
Pay very close attention to doggy body language at this stage. The best sign—the one you’re hoping for—is the play bow, where Fido’s front legs are on the ground, his rear is up, and his tail is wagging. If you see growling, white eyes, frozen postures, or tension, end the session and try again another day.
Take A Walk
So far, so good? The next step is to take your furry friends for a walk together. Give them plenty of space, and let them sniff things. Switch handlers after a while.
Next, let Fido and Rocky interact off leash in a safe, enclosed area. At this point, you may be able to offer your canine buddies treats. Just be sure not to play favorites!
What do you do if things take a turn for the worse? If the pups are fighting, separate them. At this point, you may want to enlist a professional, or consider a different pooch. Better safe than sorry!
Please contact Westside Animal Hospital, your Savannah, GA animal clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!