Ask Away...: Adding Another Dog to Your Family {{Advice}}

Monday, December 31, 2012

Adding Another Dog to Your Family {{Advice}}

Awhile ago I emailed you for advice on getting another dog and how to divide up the time between the two to still make the first feel loved. Its going to sound weird but whenever I go out and come in he smells for other dogs, and if I wasn't around any I say "I promise I wasn't around any other dogs" lol. Anyway, lately I've been looking for small dogs that need a home and although I have "promised" him I wouldn't get another dog and he is my life, I know there are other dogs that really need a home. He is my baby and I feel soooooo guilty getting another dog, how did you get past that feeling when you got your second dog?
Colleen

photo by tanakawhovia PhotoRee
Dear Colleen:
First of all let me say that what you are feeling is completely normal because I felt that each time I added a new dog to my family.  It just means that we are caring because we do care about how it affects our other pets.  What you need to keep telling yourself is that dogs are pack animals.  They thrive in a pack and it's okay when the pack grows.  The dog you have now will always be the alpha male.  If you get another male, he will still be the boss of it. If you get a female, she can be the alpha female.  I was very worried when I got my second dog, and then I watched how they laid in bed together, chased each other, played, and did things I couldn't do for them.  I can play with Pixie on her own, but it's much different when another dog plays with her.  Dogs actually live longer in multiple dog households because they get that interaction and bond of their same species.  It's actually easier with the new puppy, because your original dog will help "rat him out" when he gets into something.  Everyone always says that all four or my dogs seem so happy and I always tell them that's because I treat them each as individuals.  If one likes car rides more than the others, I bring that one along more often when I go out.  I also alternate who gets to go for days out at the park, etc.  I snuggle with them each separately at least once a day.  It's very easy and they do all love each other, in fact they get very concerned when another yelps out of pain, etc. 

Please seriously consider the adoption still and make sure you remind yourself about the major difference between dogs and most humans.  Dogs can love so immensely - not just people but even other dogs.  Good luck and keep my updated!

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