Adding a Dog into The Family

To introduce a new dog to the family you need to follow a few very important steps if you don't want any problems. This is especially true if the dog has been with another family previously.
Adding a Dog into The Family
Francisco María García

Written and verified by the lawyer Francisco María García.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

It’s always really exciting bringing a new dog into the home. However, you should hold all of the excitement and remain calm.  Bring a dog into the family is hard work and requires supervision, a lot of patience, and especially a lot of love.

If you’re adopting a puppy, make sure he isn’t separated from his mother until he’s at least six weeks old because at that age the puppy is still developing emotionally and is sensitive. As a piece of advice, it’s a good idea for the puppy to have sporadic contact with humans so they gradually get used to them.

Later on you will need to socialize the puppy with other dogs, animals, and people. This is how the puppy learns his new reality, away from his mother and siblings.

Puppies suckling

Integrating a dog into the family will be much easier if you stick to some rules. You need to teach them where to sleep, where to go to the bathroom, what time to eat, where he can play and the limits to those games.

Supervised Interaction is Needed

If there are larger animals or dogs already in the home, then you should carefully supervise the interaction they have with each other. You need to make sure that they form a good relationship. If they’re both young, try to arrange meetings between them. This will help them interact and play without getting hurt.

The first encounter between your current pet and the new puppy will determine their future relationship with each other. Don’t forget that until that moment, your current dog has been the center of attention.

Socialize From The Beginning

The best way to introduce them to each other is to do it out of the house, on a walk. It’s useful if there are other people, and that each has control of one dog while they smell each other and get to know one another.

Two possible things will happen. Either they won’t pay attention to each other until they finally become familiar with one another. Try your best to prevent them from fighting. If this happens, separate them calmly to lower the tension.

If they get along well, then you can leave them together in a safe space. Once they’re ready to go into the house together, make sure that the new dog goes in after your current dog. Then your current dog will let the new one explore. If they both seem to be fine with one another, you can leave them together.

They need to supervised during the first few days. This is especially true during meal times or when playing in order to prevent any conflicts. If your current dog likes to fight with other dogs, then you need to be extra careful and keep a good eye on them. You should respect your first pet’s rules in order to prevent having problems with the new dog.

Taking Step to Control Impulses

If your existing pet isn’t a dog, then both animals need to get to know each other in a much more progressive manner and they need to control their impulses. They should gradually get to know each other at a distance. Until they’re used to one another, you should keep them separated.

If you have a cat, then you need to take things a little slower. You can’t force cats to do anything. However, it’s important to know about the dog’s breed and instincts to see how he’s likely to be around a cat.

Dog getting to know cat because family are integrating a dog into the family

If you’ve adopted a puppy or an old dog. You need to think about how much time you can spend on this adaptation process. Puppies take longer, but older dogs can’t be left alone right away either. Otherwise, they may develop anxiety, boredom, or stress.

Beauty or Breed: Important?

The beauty of the breed or dog are the main reasons for choosing a dog. However, this is often a big mistake because adding a dog into the family can be difficult. Many don’t adapt well to the new family, and people end up abandoning them. Make sure that you have enough time to attend to your new pet, especially if there are children or other animals in your household.

Things to Bear in Mind

When you have a puppy, it’s important to let him greet the adult dog on his own his own free will. Obviously, you shouldn’t let the adult dog intimidate your new puppy. Don’t designate an area for both dogs until they’ve established a cordial and trusting relationship. Until then, it’s best to keep them separated.

Likewise, separate their belongings and designated a certain space for each dog to prevent aggression. Always, break up a fight if one ever occurs. Right from the start, you need to train your dog to eat from his own plate. If he finishes first, then you shouldn’t let him get away with eating from another pet’s bowl.

If you follow these recommendations for adding a dog into the family will be a relatively quick and pleasant experience for everyone.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.