Introducing a new pet to a senior pet in your household requires patience and attention, and when your efforts pay off, it’s so worth it!
Take Ana for instance, who receives regular help from Phinney’s. Scooby, her senior Chihuahua mix, gets vet care, prescription food, and heart and thyroid medications paid by us.
After suffering a recent heart-breaking loss, when her other Chihuahua, Ciquina, passed away, Ana adopted a spunky, young Dachshund/Yorkie mix named Archie. The introduction couldn't have gone better! Little Archie is playful and careful with Scooby, and plays on his own when Scooby needs to rest, given his achy back from old age.
Archie has brought happiness and light to Ana and Scooby. We wish Ana, Scooby, and Archie all the best, and rest assured Phinney's will be here for them when they need our support.
Ana tells us she’s so appreciative of the help she gets from Phinney’s for her two precious furry friends. And we are thrilled to see this fur family thrive!
So, how’d they do it? Fortunately, we’ve got some valuable tips below to help answer that question.
Many are the benefits to getting another pet, including companionship for your first pet, like in Scooby’s case. And perhaps filling the void when a beloved pet passes on, just like Ana did. Whatever the reason, adding a new pet to the family that already has a more senior dog entails some evaluation to ensure a smooth introduction and continued harmony in the household.
According to the American Kennel Club, the key to introducing a new pet member is to not disrupt the status quo. By slowly introducing the pets to one another and keeping the daily routine, the new pet can get used to the old pet’s habits. That way, it's less likely the pets will experience anxiety or jealousy.
Sometimes it may be best to introduce them on neutral ground rather than at home to avoid territorial behavior. It is also important to understand ahead of time the temperament of your new pet and if he or she will mesh well with your current pet’s demeanor.
When introducing a new pup to an older dog, it’s very important to socialize them slowly. Observe any play that may be too rough or aggressive. Once you are confident that both dogs get along, set the ground rules for your new pet by setting quiet time aside for your senior pet and vice versa. Constant contact may cause some conflict.
Finally, Scooby and Archie have this additional piece of advice: Be sure to give each pet some alone time to give them each a chance to relax.