If you have decided to adopt a rehomed dog, congratulations! You are giving a second chance to a dog who needs a loving home. However, bringing a new dog into your household can be challenging, especially if you already have another dog. You want to make sure that both dogs get along well and feel comfortable in their new environment.
To help you with this process, we have compiled some tips on how to introduce a rehomed dog to your existing dog in a safe and slow way. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth and successful transition for both dogs.
Step 1: Prepare your home
Before you bring your new dog home, you need to prepare your home for the arrival of a new family member. Here are some things you should do:
Create a separate space for your new dog. This could be a crate, a room, or a gated area where your new dog can stay for the first few days or weeks. This will give your new dog a sense of security and privacy, as well as prevent any territorial issues with your existing dog.
Remove any potential triggers or hazards from the common areas. This includes food bowls, toys, bones, beds, or anything else that your dogs might fight over or get injured by. You can reintroduce these items later when your dogs are more comfortable with each other.
Stock up on supplies for your new dog. You will need food, water, bowls, leash, collar, ID tag, treats, toys, bed, blanket, crate, and anything else that your new dog might need. Try to get the same food and treats that your new dog was used to in his previous home or shelter. This will help reduce any digestive issues or stress caused by a sudden change in diet.
Find a veterinarian for your new dog. You should take your new dog to the vet as soon as possible after you bring him home. This will allow you to check his health status, update his vaccinations, microchip him if needed, and get any advice on his care and behavior.
Step 2: Introduce your dogs in a neutral territory
The first meeting between your dogs is very important. You want to make sure that both dogs are calm and relaxed, and that they have a positive association with each other. The best way to do this is to introduce them in a neutral territory, such as a park or a friend’s yard. Here are some tips on how to do this:
Choose a location that is unfamiliar to both dogs. This will prevent any territorial aggression or defensiveness from either dog.
Have someone else help you with the introduction. Each person should handle one dog on a leash and keep them at a safe distance from each other.
Start by walking the dogs parallel to each other, but not too close. Allow them to see and smell each other from afar, but do not let them interact directly yet. Praise and reward them for being calm and ignoring each other.
Gradually decrease the distance between the dogs as they show signs of interest and curiosity. Watch their body language carefully for any signs of stress or aggression, such as stiffening, growling, barking, snarling, lunging, or snapping. If you see any of these signs, increase the distance between the dogs and try again later.
If the dogs seem relaxed and friendly, allow them to sniff each other briefly under supervision. Keep the leashes loose and avoid any tension or pulling. Praise and reward them for being polite and respectful.
If the dogs get along well, you can let them play together for a short time under supervision. Keep the leashes on in case you need to separate them quickly. Avoid any rough or chase games that might trigger aggression or excitement. End the play session on a positive note and take the dogs home separately.
Step 3: Introduce your new dog to your home
After you have introduced your dogs in a neutral territory and they seem comfortable with each other, you can bring your new dog home. However, this does not mean that you can let them roam freely in the house right away. You still need to be cautious and patient with the integration process. Here are some tips on how to do this:
Keep your new dog in his separate space for the first few days or weeks. This will allow him to adjust to his new surroundings and bond with you without being overwhelmed by your existing dog.
Introduce your new dog to different rooms of the house gradually and under supervision. Let him explore one room at a time while your existing dog is confined elsewhere. Switch places so that both dogs can smell each other’s scent in different areas of the house.
Allow supervised interactions between your dogs in the common areas. Keep both dogs on leashes and monitor their behavior closely. Praise and reward them for being calm and friendly. If you see any signs of stress or aggression, separate them and try again later.
Increase the duration and frequency of the interactions as your dogs get more comfortable with each other. Eventually, you can remove the leashes and let them interact freely, but always keep an eye on them and intervene if necessary.
Establish rules and boundaries for both dogs. Teach them where they can and cannot go, what they can and cannot do, and how they should behave with each other. Be consistent and fair with your expectations and corrections. Use positive reinforcement to reward good behavior and discourage bad behavior.
Step 4: Enjoy your new family
If you follow these steps, you should be able to introduce your rehomed dog to your existing dog in a safe and slow way. Remember that every dog is different and that the integration process may take longer or shorter depending on their personalities, histories, and preferences. Be patient, flexible, and supportive of both dogs as they adjust to their new situation.
Once your dogs are fully integrated, you can enjoy the benefits of having two furry companions in your life. They will provide you with love, loyalty, fun, and entertainment. They will also keep each other company and stimulate each other physically and mentally. You will have a happy and harmonious household with your new family.
We hope you found this blog post helpful and informative. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you.
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