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Getting A Second Dog

Introduction

If you love your pet, you may get the urge to add another dog or cat to the household. Here are a few hints to keep in mind so that the newcomer fits in with the resident pet or pets.

As a general principle, dogs adapt to a new addition much better than cats. This has to do with the social instincts of the two species. Dogs are social animals. Cats, on the other hand, seldom associate with other members of their species except for the purpose of breeding. Cats, both the large wild species and the house cat, spend a great deal of their time making and defending territory.
In most but not all cases, if your main reason for adding a second pet is to provide some company for your dog, he or she may welcome the playmate. If you're thinking of getting some company for your cat, you may want to think again.
When two dogs are placed in the same environment, they will assign everyone in the house- animals and humans- a position on the pecking order. If one of the two dogs is content to assume the subordinate role while the other is dominant in the pecking order, then conflicts are likely to be avoided.
If both animals try to attain dominance, as is often the case with two mature males, conflicts are inevitable. Resolving such a conflict can be a lengthy and difficult process. In general, it involves trying to establish a gap between the dogs on the pecking order. This can be done by showing a preference in feeding, grooming, and attention to the one that appears to be more dominant.

Introducing a new cat into a house already occupied by a cat causes problems in most cases. You may never convince those cats to be "buddies" but you may be able to convince them to tolerate one another. Exposure of the two cats to each other for short periods, while keeping them at a distance is the best way to begin the process of getting acquainted.

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