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Adding A Second Dog To The Family (The Dos & Don'ts)

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What's better than having a pet dog? Having two pet dogs, obviously! While the idea of getting a second dog seems like a purely exciting journey, it's essential to acknowledge that there's more to the process. 

One of the most critical aspects of adding a second dog is introducing it to your existing or first dog. Of course, there's no one-way-fit-all method to set forth a positive relationship between your pets. 

That said, there are some strategies or advice that can help in adding another pup to your fur family. So here's a simple step-by-step do's and don'ts guide for you when adding a second dog to your household.

Make sure you & your dog are ready

A second dog doesn't only mean buying another set of dog accessories or doubling the expenses on the dog food. It also means more patience, responsibility, and commitment (for both you and your first dog). To make matters easier, you are encouraged to assess the suitability of adding a second pup with your current dog beforehand.

Ask yourself if your current dog is responsible and mature enough to care for or be around a new dog. If your dog is not adequately trained or still in "puppyhood," it may be difficult for you to take care of two dogs simultaneously. 

Next, consider the age of your current dog. The recommended age gap between dogs is roughly 1-2 years. A large age gap may limit their bonding potential due to physical capabilities and energy level discrepancies. On the other hand, having two young dogs may be challenging, too, as owners need to juggle training both dogs and showing them affection and care.

If you’re staying in a condo in Malaysia, you may also wish to confirm with the local council or condo management if there is a set limit to the number of pets per unit. It’s best to take this step of precaution to avoid future disappointment. 

Select the right companion for your dog

A complementing personality trait is the key to establishing meaningful relationships. When looking for a suitable dog to welcome home, start by forming an impression of your current dog's personality.

If your dog is inherently cheeky and playful, it's ideal for you to get a dog that matches the same energy. This would help your dogs to connect and get along with each other.  

Apart from that, it also helps to look at your current dog's size to narrow down your options. If you currently have a big-sized German Shepherd, a small-sized poodle breed may get intimidated. Therefore, choosing an equally sized dog breed might make a better choice. 

When getting a new dog, you may also wish to look into getting it vaccinated or microchipped, and these services are often provided at your local vet clinics across Malaysia. Spaying or neutering your new pet may be something to look into if you don’t intend for your dogs to breed.

If you’re unsure which vaccinations, checkups, or infection prevention procedures cater best to your new companion, then one of the easiest and safest solutions is Oyen’s Pet Wellness plan

Oyen's Pet Wellness Plan


This plan covers checkups, key routine vaccinations, and deworming procedures for your furbaby and is a convenient way for KL and Selangor pet owners to keep their precious companions in tip-top health. All the planning, research, and thinking has been performed on your behalf! And all you have to do is sign up and pick a partner vet clinic of your choice. 

Introduce them in an appropriate pace

Next, set reasonable expectations when it comes to bringing your new dog home. Trust and effective ice-breaking will not happen overnight, so give both your dogs sufficient time to get acquainted with one another.

Create opportunities in neutral environments for your dogs to spend quality time with each other. For example, bring them for a walk or play together with them in a park.  

Nonetheless, keep in mind to avoid partiality between your pets. No doubt it's a common instinct to give extra focus to the new dog. However, doing so may result in jealousy or internalized grudges in your current pet. Keep things equal and show your current dog that it's still loved and cared for like before.

Prepare separate areas for your dogs 

Dogs need time and personal space to adjust themselves to a new environment. If you’ve just adopted one from any pet shelter in Malaysia, it may feel intimidated and hesitant when brought into your home for the first time. 

Hence, don't expect things to work out by just keeping the two dogs together at home. Your current dog needs time to accept that it's not the only dog anymore, while your new dog needs time to adapt itself to its new home and family. 

As such, prepare a separate space for your new dog and all of its items—a dog bed, toys, and a food bowl. Ensure you have all these accessories ready, and these can usually be purchased off an online shopping platform. 

Avoid situating your new dog too close to your current dog because the feeling of congestion may trigger aggression between dogs. Moreover, a separate area is also useful to address any possessive behaviour of your current dog and avoid fights.

Supervise & offer rewards

Over the first few days of bringing your new dog home, it's important to closely supervise your dogs for any tension or conflicts. These are some signs of discomfort or uneasiness that you could look out for: 

  • Body stiffness for a prolonged time 
  • Growling or intense staring 
  • Forward ears and high held tail
  • Closed mouths 

If your dogs are well-behaved when in company with each other, reward them with their favourite treats. It's not easy for dogs to get accustomed to each other. That being the case, positive behaviour reinforcement teaches your dog to stay calm and friendly to each other. With time, your dogs will learn to trust one another, and before you know it, they become inseparable! 

Get your new dog protected by insurance  

Pet insurance protects owners from unexpected pet costs such as veterinary fees, injuries, or medication bills. Therefore, making sure all of your pets are sufficiently insured gives you peace of mind and a sense of security. 

At Oyen, we offer pet Insurance for pet cats and dogs with the highest vet medical coverage in Malaysia (up to RM8,000). Please don't hesitate to get in touch with us to inquire further about signing up your furbaby for insurance.

Conclusion

As a pet parent, it’s normal to want to do everything in our power right to keep your dog happy. Despite that, know that there's no guarantee your dog will get along with a second pup just because it checks all the boxes. Sometimes, you'd just have to introduce your dog to the newcomer and hope for the best!

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