Undoubtedly, getting a dog was a big decision for you and your family. You probably learned a lot of lessons along the way. Now that your faithful companion is getting older, you might be considering inviting a puppy into your life. There are many good reasons to think about it. However, there are also some situations where it isn’t the wisest choice, which we will discuss later.
The essential thing is to give this decision as much thought as you did before you brought your current pet home. Dogs have a significant impact on a family’s lifestyle, which is vital to keep on the front burner.
The 10 Benefits of Getting Your Older Dog a Puppy Companion
1. A Teacher for Your New Pet
One of the most compelling reasons for considering a puppy is having an in-house teacher. Your dog can teach your new pet how things run in your household. It can set an excellent example for housebreaking and leash manners. That will make training quicker and easier for you. Remember that the new pup will likely stick close to your dog and may keep the little one out of mischief.
2. Reduced Obesity Risk
New puppies are bundles of energy. If your dog has been slowing down, a new pet might be just the thing to get it moving to reduce its risk of obesity. This preventable condition puts your senior pup at risk for many diseases. Of course, some breeds are more active than others. However, a puppy will mix things up as nothing else can.
3. Mental Stimulation
One sometimes overlooked aspect of a pet’s health is mental stimulation. It’s not much different with people. The chances are you’ll revisit places your dog hasn’t seen for a while with a new puppy. Your existing pet will undoubtedly learn new things when seeing these sites through different eyes. Engaging your pup’s brain will certainly make life more enjoyable for all three of you.
Some breeds tolerate being alone better than others. Others thrive when they’re with other dogs, playing and roughhousing. You may find your existing pet will become needier as it ages. A puppy will provide the companionship that your dog craves. It’ll make an excellent distraction that will allow the time to fly by until you get home again.
5. Relief for Separation Anxiety
Unfortunately, some breeds, such as Collies, Cocker Spaniels, and Beagles, are so sensitive to being alone that they may develop separation anxiety. They may howl, bark, or engage in destructive and unwanted behaviors. Remember that this is a dog in distress, even if they’re ruining your stuff. A puppy will keep your dog occupied so that it’s less likely to do things it shouldn’t.
6. Not Necessarily a Big Investment
We discussed less effort with training since you’ll have a helper with your dog. You may even save some money on other pet-related expenses like insurance. Many companies offer multiple pet discounts that can translate into additional savings.
7. Increased Activity—for You
It’s been well-established that having a pup can offer health benefits for pet owners, including reduced cognitive decline. You probably have a routine with your dog. Getting a puppy will change things up with more frequent walks and training sessions. You’ll benefit physically by being more active. It can also reduce your risk of obesity when you take those regular strolls through the neighborhood.
8. Quality of Life
The health benefits your dog will enjoy will improve its quality of life. Too often, pets slow down as they age. It’s a vicious circle when activity dips, causing muscles to atrophy. Exercise becomes more uncomfortable, particularly if your pup has arthritis. A puppy will keep your pooch more active, which can improve its quality of life. It’s a priceless gift to give your canine companion.
9. Longer Lifespan
Increased activity and mental stimulation may translate into a longer lifespan. It’s not a guarantee that a puppy will add years to your dog’s life, but it’ll at least make it more fun for you, your family, and your pets. Nevertheless, increasing your dog’s activity and stimulation generally has a positive effect on how long you will have your pooch.
10. Emotional Support for the Owner and Family
We have to address the elephant in the room and talk about another sad yet essential reason for getting a puppy companion. It’s never easy to lose a pet. However, your new puppy will provide some comfort to you and your family when this occurs. At the very least, it’ll make you smile through your tears as you remember the fun times your dog and you enjoyed together.
Tips and Things to Consider Before Introducing a New Pet into Your Home
It’s essential to view things from your dog’s point of view before you decide to get a puppy. Remember that canines are naturally territorial. That’s particularly true with pups that are used to being the top dog with no competition.
Socialization also needs your devotion. This critical part of training will set the stage for introducing a new puppy into your home and make it less stressful for everyone.
Take into account your dog’s health and personality. If it’s dealing with a chronic condition, a puppy may add too much stress to its routine and make your pet less comfortable. Bear in mind that there isn’t an off switch on a puppy. A really sick pet might not thrive with the little one’s constant badgering.
Finally, consider the commitment you and your family are willing to make with a new addition to the fold. Puppies are not unlike toddlers. They call them “terrible twos” for a reason. They take up a lot of your time and energy. So, be honest about what is reasonable for your lifestyle. After all, pet ownership is a serious responsibility.
Getting a puppy is an exciting event. It can also be something positive or negative if you have an older dog. Many pups will accept the new addition without any issues. However, you must be realistic about the impacts it’ll have on your lifestyle and the effects on your pooch. Often, it can provide a much-needed boost for you and your pet. Nonetheless, it’s not a given.
Sometimes, it’s easier for everyone to wait until you’ve had time to grieve and prepare yourself for your next canine adventure. It will likely be the same riot of fun and laughs as the experience you’ve had with your last BFF.
Featured Image Credit: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock