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Introducing Two Dogs

February 15, 2018

Are you adopting a second dog? Good for you! We love seeing pets go to loving homes. However, our canine pals can be quite jealous, so you’ll want to take things slowly when introducing Fido to his new roommate. Here, an Oconomowoc, WI vet discusses introducing two dogs.

Veterinary Care

Before introducing your canine pals, get the all-clear from your vet. Both dogs should be current on vaccinations and parasite control before meeting.

Neutral Ground

When introducing your furry friends, the first meeting should be on neutral ground. This can be a dog park, a friend’s house, or even a pet store. (If you choose a pet store, be sure to get permission.) Both of your canine buddies should be leashed. Walk the dogs together, but keep them far enough apart so they can’t stare at or sniff one another. Don’t hold the leashes too tightly: this could make your pets uneasy. Then, start to let each dog smell the other’s tracks.

Body Language

Do some reading on doggy body language, so you can more easily gauge how things are going. Growling is obviously a bad sign, but many other signals are more subtle. For instance, staring and rough play can quickly escalate into fighting, while play bowing is a sign that your pets may soon become BFFs.

Go Slowly

The second meeting should also be on neutral territory. Let your dogs sniff one another. If they seem friendly, let them run and play for a few minutes. You can also let the leashes drag, so the pups have more freedom to move. If things go smoothly, the next meeting can take place in your house or yard.

Keeping Things Positive

Try to each meeting on a good note. If both of your dogs behave well, talk to them in a friendly tone, and offer lots of praise as a reward. However, if your pooches start growling or fighting, immediately separate them, and try again another day.


Keep your canine pals separated whenever you aren’t around. You can doggyproof a specific room, and let your furry buddies rotate between being in the room and wandering freely. We recommend supervising all interactions for at least the first month or so, or until you are sure that your pups are getting along.

Please contact us, your Oconomowoc, WI pet hospital, anytime. We’re here to provide excellent veterinary care!