Are you ready for twice the puppy kisses and two furry friends to light up your life? Adding a new pup pal to your family may seem like a dream come true. But if anxiety and having no confidence plague your dog, adding another might create more problems than it solves.
It’s not always a good idea to get a second dog, depending on your current one. Sometimes this can cause issues such as anxiety and only make things worse.
But, before deciding whether a second pup is right for you, learn all about canine companionship, its potential benefits and drawbacks, and how best to ensure a peaceful home where everyone—from pups to humans—is happy.
Understanding the Origins of Anxiety in Dogs
Canine companions truly are man’s best friend, but even the best of us have anxiety issues. Fido is no exception! The origins of anxiety in dogs can vary from breed to breed, personality to personality, and experiences. Losing a beloved family member or a change in the environment or routine can cause separation anxiety.
Anxious dogs may act out in destructive behavior or try to escape. It’s essential to take your pup’s anxiety seriously and understand the root cause before trying to remedy the situation.
The following are some reasons your pup might be anxious or fearful:
- Lack of socialization with people and/or other animals
- Fear of loud noises such as fireworks, thunder, or vacuum cleaners
- Separation anxiety from being away from its owner for long periods of time
- Pain or illness that causes discomfort
- Poor diet or lack of exercise
- Recent trauma
- Unfamiliar environments
- Genetics making the dog predisposed to anxious behavior
- Too much attention leads to a dependency on its owner’s presence
- Unresolved previous issues like a phobia or lack of trust
The Pros and Cons of Getting Another Dog to Help Calm Your Anxious Pup
So, you’ve got a nervous Nelly on your hands, huh? I used to have one as well when we were fostering a Spanish Galgo for a local rescue group.
If you’re worried about them and their wellbeing, fear not, my friend, because there might be a solution. Enter stage left: the second dog. On the pro side, having another pup around can provide some much-needed canine companionship, which might ease your first dog’s worries.
We already had two dogs in the home when we brought Halcon in. He was terrified of men, and it took a while before we could get him to the point of even letting my husband walk him. Having two dogs in the home really helped him find some solid ground to build confidence on.
- Provides canine companionship to ease anxious pup’s worries.
- Built-in playmate to take the pressure off of you.
- Companionship can help your dog learn how to interact with other dogs.
- Brings more joy and happiness into the house.
- Can help reduce boredom.
- Can provide an additional source of protection for your home.
- Gives both dogs a sense of security and stability.
- Provides new challenges and enrichment opportunities for both pups.
- An extra furry friend means double the snuggles!
However, on the con side, introducing a new dog into your household can be a bit of a gamble, with no guarantee that they’ll get along. It ultimately comes down to whether or not you’re willing and able to handle the responsibilities and risks that come with bringing another pup into your pack.
- Difficulty in introducing a new dog to the environment.
- Risk that the two dogs won’t get along.
- Stress and anxiety levels may rise during the introduction period.
- The fearful pup may become more fearful in the presence of another dog.
- Potential for increased aggression between dogs because of competition for resources, such as food and toys.
- Potential for one or both dogs to develop behavioral problems due to lack of attention or too much stimulation from the other pet.
Finding a Friend for Your Furry Friend: Tips for Choosing the Right Companion
You want to ensure your current fur baby and their potential pal get along like peanut butter and jelly, not oil and water. The first step is to consider your pet’s temperament. Are they outgoing and playful, or more of a mellow couch potato? Matching personalities is key.
Also, think about size and energy level. A Great Dane might not be the best fit for your little Chihuahua, and a high-energy Border Collie might overwhelm your laid-back basset hound. And don’t forget to do a proper introduction, on neutral ground, with both dogs leashed.
When we were looking for a second dog to keep our older dog company, we were still mourning the loss of our Dachshund. Wedge was missing her, too, and we could tell. When we went looking for another dog, there were specific rules in place we had. She didn’t like playing too much or getting rowdy and was very picky about her friends.
Our second dog, Liam, ran up to her during the meeting, happy and ready to play; she snarled at him once but backed off as soon as he lessened his energy and met the rest of us at our level. It was the moment he laid down and accepted her correction, only bothering her when she approached, that made us take him home.
These are some questions to ask yourself when looking for another dog to help your current dog:
- What is the temperament of my current dog?
- What size and energy level should I look for in a potential companion?
- How will I introduce them on neutral ground?
- Is my home prepared to accommodate another pet?
- Have I consulted with a professional such as a veterinarian or animal behaviorist to ensure this is the right decision for me and my fearful/anxious pup(s)?
Other Ways to Reduce Stress and Anxiety in Your Home for Your Dog
Let’s be real, our furry friends can get pretty stressed out, too—especially in their own homes. But fear not because there are ways to ease your dog’s anxiety and create a peaceful environment for both of you.
First up, make sure your pup has a designated space where they can go to relax and escape the chaos of the world. Next, incorporate calming scents such as lavender or chamomile into their space. Don’t forget about exercise —a tired pup equals a calm pup.
Last, consider investing in some puzzle toys to keep their minds occupied and reduce any potential boredom-induced stress. Your pup will thank you for creating a stress-free home sweet home!
Ways to help with anxiety and fear:
- Socialization with people and other animals
- Desensitizing to loud noises
- Establishing a consistent routine
- Providing proper nutrition, exercise, and mental stimulation
- Creating a safe space for your dog to relax in
- Incorporating calming scents, such as lavender or chamomile, into their environment
- Exercise regularly with your pup
- Invest in puzzle toys to occupy their minds
- Practicing positive reinforcement techniques such as clicker training
- Seeking professional help from a veterinarian, professional dog trainer, or animal behaviorist if anxiety persists
Does Getting Another Dog Help With a Hyper Dog?
It’s important to note that the two dogs should have compatible personalities to ensure they get along well. Also, introducing them on neutral ground is essential to giving them the best chance of success. Providing adequate exercise for both dogs is also key to managing their high energy levels.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional such as a veterinarian or animal behaviorist before bringing another pup into the household to ensure all of your bases are covered and that this is the right decision for you and your pup.
Will Getting Another Dog Settle My Dog Down?
On the pro side, having a playmate can help divert a hyper dog’s energy and prevent destructive behavior caused by boredom. The two dogs can engage in playful activities together, such as chasing each other or playing tug-of-war, which may tire them out and lead to calmer behavior.
But, on the con side, adding another dog to settle down a hyperactive pup isn’t a guaranteed solution. First, there is no guarantee the two dogs will get along & that their personalities will be compatible. Second, if we don’t address the underlying cause, such as lack of exercise or training, the addition of another dog may not have any effect.
Taking care of an anxious dog can be a challenging task, but with a bit of patience and dedication, creating a calm & comforting environment for your pup is possible. Remember that understanding the roots of your pup’s anxiety is the first step in creating a happier, relaxed atmosphere for them.
Monitor their physical & mental health closely to recognize any signs or triggers causing stress in your pet. Last, if you feel like your fur baby might benefit from receiving another pooch companion, do your research on the best ways to choose the perfect friend for them.
Lead by example and show your pup love and compassion, as this can go a long way in reducing tension in your relationship together. By providing safety and comfort at home, you will surely see an improvement in their behavior over time!