by Sojos | September 20, 2012
It’s not exactly breaking news that puppies are hard to resist – those wiggly, soft, sweet little critters can charm just about anyone. If you’re already a pet owner, however, you know that a puppy, cute as it is, is a real commitment – though it’s worth all the work in the end. If you’re considering adding a new pup to a household that already includes other dogs, you have even more to think about.
Opinions differ about when it’s the right time to add a youngster to your existing household pet population. Some believe that it’s best to do so when an existing pet is young, so that the animals can “grow up together.” Others advocate waiting until the first dog is at least 4 or 5 years old, so that his habits and training are well-established and he won’t become confused as you train the puppy.
In practice, pet owners decide to expand their “families” at widely varying times. Ultimately, you know your pets best, but critical thought about the effects of adding a new puppy will benefit everyone in your home. If you have any questions or uncertainties, it’s a good idea to consult with a holistic vet, who can provide added insight – they can be particularly helpful if they already have knowledge of your pet.
Here are other things to keep in mind when adding a puppy to your pet family:
Make the right first impression: Don’t assume that everyone will be pals right from the start. In fact, you might want to keep your puppy separated from other dogs for a few hours, a day – or even a few days. A slow introduction process will help everyone ease into the change. Let your older dog get used to the scent of a new dog in the house and carefully supervise face-to-face meetings, keeping puppy close to you. As the dogs get more accustomed to each other, you can expand on the time they spend together.
Feeding: With a raw diet, you really can feed your puppy the same food as your adult dog – however, you’ll need to feed different amounts because puppies require more protein. When starting your puppy on a raw dog food diet, you’ll need to take the normal precautions in transitioning him if he’s been started on kibble. Because puppies’ bodies are growing, they have very specific nutritional needs. Talking to your vet about how best to meet those needs is helpful if you are nervous or new to a raw diet. Luckily, Sojos offers a variety of raw dog food pre-mixes that you add your own meat to, as well as a line of Complete recipes, that include freeze dried raw meat. This allows for a lot of customization to give your puppy and the other pets everything they need. It’s also good to get your puppy started on a feeding schedule when he’s young. You’ll likely need to supervise carefully to make sure that your adult dogs don’t encroach on puppy’s food, and vice versa.
Supervise play: Dogs will naturally establish a pecking order, but it’s important to make sure that happens in a safe way. Puppies can be easily intimidated by older, bigger dogs and it’s up to owners to make sure that normal establishment of order doesn’t go too far and turn into aggression. As much as you’ll be training your puppy, you’ll also be training your older dog to interact with a puppy appropriately.
With careful introduction into your home, a puppy will quickly adapt – and so will your older dog. Providing the right guidelines and training for both of them will help ensure that they share a lifelong happy relationship.