In a perfect world, you could adopt a new dog or pup and your other pets would happily welcome them into the fold. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. An enthusiastic, energetic puppy might provoke a fight or two, especially if you already have an older dog who is slowing down and set in their ways. It makes sense: your existing dog is likely accustomed to a certain lifestyle and may not be overly excited to welcome a new intrusion into the routine.
Sharing your affection with a new member of the furry family can also easily lead to jealousy. If your dog has been riding solo, the only one to snuggle on the couch or share the bed with you, an additional pet may be seen as depriving them of that special time. Your older dog may be resentful and retreat to their crate just to get away from the new nuisance you’ve brought home!
What can you do to deal with jealousy and bring some semblance of order back to your home? Check out these tips for dealing with jealousy in dogs.
- Be prepared for jealousy. If your dog has been the only pup in your life for many years and you bring a new dog into the household, it’s possible your current dog could growl or snap. They also may retreat, lose their appetite or not want to spend as much time with you – which can be heartbreaking. Set time aside to spend quality, one-on-one alone time with your dog. Don’t expect them to share your attention with the new addition right off the bat. You need to reassure them that they’re still top dog.
- Do a slow introduction. When you bring home a new dog or puppy, do not automatically expect your pack – dogs or cats – to immediately assimilate. Keep them in separate rooms and let them sniff one another for a day or more before you drop them into the same space. Be the go-between with the new pup and your current dog to reassure your original dog that you’re still here for them and help your new pup find their place in the pack.
- Feed them separately. Your new dog may not understand that each canine family member has his or her own food bowl. They may dash over to steal food and get nipped process. If possible, feed them in a space where they can be separated by a gate but can still see one another while eating.
What are some signs your pup is jealous?
- Indoor bathroom accidents. A dog who feels they are being replaced may not only show unprovoked or uncharacteristic behaviors like aggression, they may also begin to have accidents or go to the bathroom in the house to show they are displeased with the change.
- Being overly attached to you. While it is flattering to have your dog follow and want to be beside you all day, it could secretly be a sign of insecurity or jealousy. Make certain you’re giving your pup individual, undivided attention as well as to both dogs at the same time.
- Not wanting to be with you. Conversely, your dog may sulk and not want to be with you at all.
What else can you do about jealousy in your dogs?
- Make note of when it happens. Does your pet exhibit jealous behaviors on walks? At dinner time? When you’re on the couch or in bed together? Keep track of the times when it happens to recognize the signs and take steps to nip the behavior in the bud. The way to do this will be different for each pet but will mainly involve giving your pet extra attention before or after triggering moments.
- Don’t give too much attention to one pet to “make up for” the jealousy of the other.
- Give each pet his or her own toys and don’t make them share a single toy.
- Place their beds in separate areas, and don’t make them share a bed or crate or even a corner of the same room.
- Reward and praise them when they get along, play together, or are in the same room without conflict.
Above all, be patient and let them work it out among themselves, chances are you will eventually have a happy and harmonious home.
Robbi Hess, award-winning author, is multi-petual: She shares her home with two Devon Rex and one senior ginger cat, two mini poodles, a Goldendoodle, three lizards, and one ferret. When not caring for her pets, she is an editor, speaker, time management and productivity guru, content creator, social media manager, and blogger. She writes at RobbiHess.com and is the story editor and chief cat herder at Positively Woof.
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