We all know that pets bring a lot of benefits to the lives of their owners. Sometimes adding an additional pet can be beneficial not only to the owners, but also to your current pets. Here are some things to consider when you are looking to add a second pet to your family.
Dogs are pack animals and require socialization as a key part of their lives. Sometimes this can come simply from their owners and human family, but often, dogs do well having an additional canine friend at home. You need to look honestly at your current dog’s personality traits, energy levels, and temperament before trying to find a second dog with complementary traits. Temperaments and personalities are far too different between individual dogs to make general decisions based on breed or other characteristics like age or gender. It’s also important to look for negative behaviors that may affect pairings. Are they aggressive or territorial? Over protective? Talk with a CVHS animal care technician to help find a dog that could be a good match.
Expect some work when you are bringing in a new dog to the family no matter how well they seem to get along with your current pets. Things like feeding time, playing with toys and rawhides, or competing for attention from owners can all cause tension between new dogs. Socializing unfamiliar dogs together carefully and thoughtfully is very important and can be the difference between a successful or unsuccessful dog pairing.
When making the final decision on a new dog, it is a good idea for them to meet your current dog before you take the new pooch home. While you can’t take home a CVHS shelter dog for a “test run”, you can bring your current dog to meet a perspective new dog before adopting. CVHS staff can also help facilitate the meeting.
Cats are often thought of as solitary animals, but in reality, they can enjoy the company of having a friend just like dogs do! When looking for a second cat, consider one that has already had experience living with other cats. This can help ease the transition when your new kitty comes home and meets your current cat. Most shelter cats come with a history and information about previous owner situations. CVHS staff can help you find an experienced cat to go along with your furry family. Shelter cats also gain a lot of experience socializing with other cats while staying with CVHS. This experience is something that can help them socialize in your home too!
Consider your current cat’s mood and personality when looking for another feline friend. Opposites don’t always attract with co-existing kitties. Individual and solitary cats won’t always want social, energetic cats infringing on their alone time. But two loner cats can usually co-exist in the same home without getting in each other’s way. More active cats would enjoy active partners to spend time with. You can always come in to see CVHS’s cats in person to see their personality or ask shelter staff for insight.
Every new animal relationship will require work on the owner’s part. Even after a good match, there will still be work to be done to socialize them properly and get everyone comfortable in their new shared home.