If you are considering getting a younger dog to join your older dog and are not sure if it is the right decision, then you have come to the right page. Before you make such decisions, it is important to first prepare yourself to take care of an additional pet. If you are not ready to do so, then it is advisable to not get one until you think you are fully prepared.
However, when you are sure that you are ready for such a commitment, you can then evaluate the pros and cons of your decision. In this article, we will be discussing the benefits of getting a younger puppy for your senior dog and also the challenges you might face.
So let’s start!
Why Does Your Senior Dog Need a Puppy?
Dogs are very outgoing and social creatures who like playing and interacting with people and other dogs and animals. Most of the time, some dogs crave the companionship of other dogs even if they are with their owner.
They feel the need for an additional pet in their house so that they can play together and do other fun activities with them. It is not easy or doable to always take your dog out to play with other dogs whenever the dog feels bored.
Getting another puppy for your older dogs comes with several benefits. Apart from the feeling of companionship and lack of loneliness, it helps keep older dogs active, keep them sharp and also increases their lifespan.
This goes to show the importance of getting a puppy for your senior canine. However, one can’t conclude that getting a puppy is the best decision without considering certain factors.
Dogs, especially puppies, require proper attention and care. Therefore, before you make a decision be sure that you have given proper consideration to the factors we have mentioned in the next section.
Factors to Consider
These are the major factors you need to consider before making your decision:
- Older Dog’s Health
- Your Lifestyle
- Your Dog’s Temperament
- Your Schedule
- Older Dog’s Health
Before getting a puppy, make sure to consider the health of your senior dog. If you are not sure of any health issue, run a check-up on the dog and check for any age-related ailments.
If your dog suffers from age-related sickness, getting a puppy might not be the best idea. These include arthritis, loss of sight, obesity, cancer and diabetes. Dogs in such a state are majorly inactive and may not be ready to interact much with a new puppy.
If you notice symptoms of confusion in your dog, it might suffer from dementia. If this is the case, getting a puppy would not be the best decision. This condition progressively gets worse and a puppy will not help matters. This also applies to older dogs that have lost their sight or hearing.
- Your Lifestyle
Another important factor is your lifestyle. You need to be sure that your home and lifestyle can accommodate another dog. First, your home should be large enough to accommodate two dogs. Secondly, you should be able to provide and cater for both pets conveniently.
You must note that catering for an older dog and a new pup is very tasking. Therefore you need to be able to put in the work. If it seems like you can not accommodate an additional dog it would be best to leave it out.
- Your Dog’s Attitude to Other Dogs
One major factor to consider is the temperament of your older dog. If your dog has cheerful and social traits and easily interacts with other dogs, getting a puppy will be alright.
However, not all dogs like to interact with other canines. Most of the time they stay far away from them or try to avoid them. If you notice these attitudes, you should know that your senior dog doesn’t need a new puppy.
If you still decide to get one, you should be prepared to have them sat apart most of the time. On the other hand, if your dog is very friendly it would be easier to adapt to a new puppy.
In this same vein, consider the temperament of the new puppy. Ensure that it matches that of the senior dog. If you have a small older dog, you should consider a smaller and less hyperactive puppy that can grow to the size of the senior dog.
- Your Schedule
This has to do with your lifestyle. It has been stated that taking care of an older dog and a new puppy requires a lot of dedication, attention and work. This means you need to have enough time to take good care of the dogs.
If your schedule doesn’t allow you to pay extra attention, it might not be the best time to get another dog. Doing so might result in neglect of the dogs and unnecessary stress for yourself.
After considering these factors, you can now decide whether to get a puppy or not. If you do decide to get one, there are several benefits you stand to gain:
Benefits of Getting a Puppy with a Senior Canine
Here are some of the major benefits of getting a puppy with an older dog:
As dogs get older they become sensitive, more anxious and may suffer from cases of depression. Introducing a new pup to such an ageing dog would be a step toward companionship. They would be able to socialise more and this will also improve their mental state.
As they interact more and more, they will grow closer and fonder. This is very important for the new pup as well. This creates a sense of comfort and safety between the two.
- Increased Lifespan
The average lifespan of a dog is about 11 years. However, this number is more likely to increase with an addition of a new puppy. Introducing a puppy to your older dog will not only be an addition to companionship, but it will also lead to many other health advantages for your older dog. And they are:
- When your older dog will play with the new puppy, it will lead to a reduction in stress and an increase in physical activity.
- Increase of physical activity will make your dog fit and healthy due to which its chances of getting physically ill will decrease.
- Lastly, with the decrease in stress, the mental health of your dog will also improve.
- Easier Training
One major benefit is the fact that training the new pup will be far easier. First, you have experience training your older dog and this would help in training the new pup.
In addition to this, your older dog can also be used as a training example for the new pup. When it notices that the senior canine receives a reward for good behaviour, the puppy would want to imitate such actions.
This will make taking care of the puppy easier. You won’t need to put a lot of work into training as you did with the older dog.
- Increased Excercise
As dogs get older, they become less interested in some activities. This is as a result of the reduction in their energy level. To ignite such energy you might need to get a new pup.
Young puppies are very active as they have more energy than they can control. Having such bubbling energy around would be sure to lift the spirits of your older canine. In such cases, your young pup will bring out the energy that has been bottled up in your older dog.
You might notice the young puppy trying to draw the older puppy to engage in activities with it. Encouraging this allows your older dog to get more energised and thereby improves its health.
Challenges of Getting a New Puppy with your Older Dog
Here are some challenges you might face:
- Puppies Require a Lot of Work
Taking care of a new puppy requires a lot of attention, time and energy. This means that you might need to dedicate ample energy and time to take care of both your older dog and a young pup.
One of the reasons why it has been exhausting to train a puppy especially when housetraining is their attention span. Puppies are very agile and playful. They are not necessarily attentive and need constant reminders.
While getting a puppy might be a good choice you need to be sure that you can handle the stress.
- Not easy to Adapt
Most times it might take a long while to see the effect of a new pup on your older dog. While some dogs accept the new addition as soon as they see them others are less social.
This can make taking care of them a lot harder. In addition, you would not be able to enjoy the benefits of the new pup easily enough. Sometimes the older dog may act aggressively towards the new pup and in some cases even hurt them.
It is important to note that when you are faced with these challenges, the best step is to be patient. Take things slowly and watch the dogs carefully. If you notice aggressive behaviour consult your vet.
Now how do you pick the right puppy for your older dog?
How to Pick the Perfect Puppy for your Senior Canine
Picking the perfect puppy plays an important role in how soon the puppy would be accepted. Before picking out a new pup for your older canine, consider its temperament. If it is a quiet breed, do not get a hyperactive puppy.
The difference in the physical attributes, size and medical history is very necessary. To avoid mistakes, research the breed you wish to buy and if it suits your family dynamic.
You can also choose to seek advice from animal experts. You can consult your vet. You can also reach out to the American Kennel Club PuppyVisor. They assist puppy buyers to make the right decision by providing personalised advice.
Introducing Your Puppy to Your Older Dog
When bringing a new puppy into your family, there are certain steps to take. These steps will make it easier for your dog to accept the new puppy.
- Get Your Dog Used To The Smell of The New Pup
One helpful trick is to get your older dog acquainted with the smell of the new puppy. Doing this allows the dog to interact more with the new pup when they eventually meet.
- Introduce Them in a Neutral Environment
When introducing your new pup to the senior canine for the first use a neutral environment. This can be outside the house. This is because the older dog might feel territorial over the house.
To do this, allow both dogs to sniff each other and get used to themselves. Be patient with this and ensure that they are getting comfortable with each other.
- Take Them Into The House
Once you are ready to bring the young pup in, keep the older dog outside while you take in the new dog. Allow the older dog to meet the young pup in the house. Give them time to get used to each other indoors. This might take a while but be patient and try not to force it.
- Continue Your Regular Routine
Do not change your routine with the older dog, continue it the way you always do and bring in the new pup to join in the routine.
By following these steps, your dogs will get comfortable with each other faster. However, you need to be prepared for setbacks. Handle such situations with care and patience. For situations beyond your control consult your vet or an animal expert.
As a pet owner, you stand to gain a lot by getting a puppy for your older dog. The pros of your decision outweigh the drawbacks you might face.
The most important thing is to know that getting a dog is a serious commitment and you must be prepared to handle whatever comes with it. This article has covered all you need to know when getting a young puppy for your older dog.