Just as much as we need variety in our lives and we need to have an exercise routine or a hobby to keep our minds and bodies stimulated, so too our pets need variety and stimulation. Unfortunately, with most people having to work and children heading off to school, our pets are left alone, having to entertain themselves for most part of the day.

In this case, adopting another pet, to ensure that your furry friend is not left alone and unstimulated, may seem like the best thing to do and with so many animals living in Shelters, adoption can be regarded as one of our greatest deeds. Adopting a second pup can be a very exciting time. But, apart from the excitement, it poses a few questions, insecurities and it also comes with an added set of responsibilities.

A second adoption may prove to be exciting and scary at the same time, as there are a variety of questions which may present itself, i.e. what if they do not like each other? How will you train another pup? Will you be able to fit in the time required to take care of another pup? What if they just do not get along? What if their personalities clash? And the list goes on.

But, this is quite normal, as we only want what is best for our furry friends and just as many people do not like change, so too our furry friends would need to learn to adapt to the newcomer at home. They get used to their environment, their routine, such as feeding time, playtime and when they are taken for a walk. They get used to their family and the house rules and bringing another pup home, can shake things up a bit.

It is therefore important to ensure that our pets are socialized with other animals, as this eliminates the pressure one would otherwise experience, when introducing another fur baby into our home. When pets are socialized, it greatly assists with how they fit in with your family members and your lifestyle.

This may have been considered a foreign concept many years ago, but there are many Shelters which now socialize animals. This practice has resulted in more animals being adopted than before, as socializing animals definitely assists with the integration process, when taking a second pup home with you.

Some Shelters allow you to take your pet there, in order to meet with other animals. This can actually be labelled as a “play date”, as the animals are allowed to interact with one another, in order to establish whether they are compatible and whether it will be a good match. One can nearly say that you are allowing your pet the opportunity to help choose his or her own friend.

By allowing for this socializing to take place, this eliminates the anxiety you or your pet may experience, when bringing a second pup home. This definitely allows for a much smoother introduction process at home, as you will then already have a very good idea how both animals will react.

There have been many instances when people have adopted a second pet, without socializing the animals, just to arrive home and find that the animals are not compatible and/or their personalities clash. Therefore, by allowing this socializing to take place, one in actual fact eliminates the possibility of returning a pet to a Shelter.

Apart from socializing our animals, there are also a few other factors one needs to consider when adopting a second pup and before actually bringing him or her home.

Relaxed Frame of Mind
When bringing your second pup home, it is important that you are in a relaxed frame of mind when introducing the animals to one another. Animals are very receptive to human emotion and can easily sense when we are stressed, worried or afraid. Thus, if you are feeling anxious about their meeting, they will feel anxious too. However, if you are in a relaxed frame of mind, the animals will be relaxed as well.

Equal Attention
This is probably one of the most important factors to remember when adopting a second pup. Your first pet has been your baby for a while and has received all of your attention. However, it is important to ensure that both your furry friends receive an equal amount of attention. If the new pup receives more attention than your first fur baby, jealousy can easily occur.

Toys
Although we love showering our furry friends with toys, it may be a good idea to put the toys aside for a while. At least just until both animals have been better introduced and are comfortable in each other’s presence. Remember, your fist baby has had his or her toys for a while and introducing another pup, can cause feelings of anxiety, where toys are concerned. It may be a good idea to give each a new toy of their own, when the time is right.

Feeding Time
Although many animals do not mind eating together, there are instances when it is better to feed animals separately. The best practice would be to closely monitor your pet’s bahavior when feeding time arrives and not to leave them completely unattended in the beginning. As time passes and your pets get to know one another better, you can decide on what the best feeding option would be.

Bed Time
This is another important factor to consider when bringing another pup home. If your pup has been sleeping happily in your room, you need to decide where the second pup will sleep. You may even find that both animals are comfortable with each other and may well choose to sleep together in one bed. But, here you would have to monitor your pets and find a happy medium for both.

The most important thing concerning a second adoption, would be that you should feel happy and at ease about the idea. If you are happy and relaxed about the second adoption, then the animals will be happy and relaxed too. Remember that your emotions will set the benchmark for how they will react.

Here’s to Happy Adopting!

Love, The PetsWell Team

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