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Ask Dr. Diane: Getting a Puppy For My Older Dog

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Dachshund on white backgroundMy dachshund is nearly 15 years old. I know he may not be with us long (although he is active for his age) and I don’t want to be dog-less.  I would like to get another dog while he is still here so he can enjoy the dog  and so our new dog will have known him. Is this a good idea?

I have four dachshunds of my own, and love sharing my life with these beautiful, intelligent creatures.

So long as you do not bring a bouncing, noisy, demanding and hyperactive puppy home, I think it’s a good idea for you to adopt another dog while your 15-year-old is sill alive. Find an adult dog of the opposite sex (in other words, a female who has been spayed) and is healthy but not rambunctious.  Make sure your dachshund meets the potential adoptee on neutral turf and that he likes and gets along with her.

Do not make a big fuss over the new dog’s presence in your home or make the older dog feel threatened, intimidated or jealous by the new one.  Through your words and body language, reassure your 15-year-old that he is deeply loved, respected, cherished and appreciated– that he is not being replaced – and that the new dog is intended to be a new friend and companion for both of you.   I have often seen an older dog who really “perks up” with the presence of a new, non-threatening, friendly and affectionate animal companion.  I wish you and your dachshund the very best!!!

dr_diane_pomerance

Dr. Pomerance is an animal behavior specialist and an expert on topics such as deciding which puppy is best for your family, how to pick out a rescue, and on healing from the loss of a pet.

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