Adding a Dog to the Family

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Tracking PixelWhen Isis was about 3 years old, we got Titus. We had no intention of getting another dog. Isis was perfectly fine being the only pittie princess in the house! It was just one of those things, his pitiful little face came across the screen of my computer… his owner was sending him to the pound (which for a pit is usually a death sentence)… and the rest is history. Since we adopted Titus, Isis has become a completely different dog – for the better, in many ways! In this post sponsored by Banfield Pet Hospital®, I'm going to show you how much they love each other!

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When we first got Titus, Isis was a total snot. She wasn't mean to him, but she didn't want much to do with him. He was still a pup (about 8 months old), and all he wanted to do was play. She was lazy (still is!), and was not having it. We did a week-long trial to see if they'd be a good fit for each other, and by Day 2 we were convinced they were meant to be siblings! She got snippy with him at first, having to lay down the law and all on that first day, but it's been peaceful ever since.

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Tips for Adding a Dog to the Family

Real quick, I just wanted to give a few tips on adding a new dog to the family. It's important that you don't force things, because sometimes dogs just aren't a good fit for each other – and that's okay.

Introduce them on neutral territory. We brought Isis to the park, and she met Titus there. This was neutral territory, so she didn't get all high and mighty. Though she did make sure he knew she was going to be the dominant one of the duo, she didn't do it in a mean way – and he was okay with it!

The house Titus was at before us had several dogs, and the owner said he was being mean to them. I don't know how true that is, but sometimes if you get a dog that is dominant or has a strong personality, they just need a change of scenery to change their behavior. From the get-go, Titus was fine with Isis being “the boss” and they have never had any problems.

If you have a big dog, it's great to get another big dog because they'll be similar in size. You don't have to get a 90 pound dog to match your 90 pound dog, but getting a 5 pound dog and introducing him or her to your 90 pound dog might not be the safest bet. Sometimes it works out, but when you're adopting and don't know much about the dog's past, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Make sure they're both healthy! A sick dog can get your dog sick, and an unhealthy dog can be in pain and very crabby. Those aren't the best circumstances to start a new friendship off with. I'll talk more about keeping your doggies healthy below.

Give them their own space. Not only do our dogs have separate kennels, we also started them off with separate food and water bowls. Titus' previous owner said he was food aggressive (we never saw this side of him, but again, Isis put him in his place quickly:) ), so we made sure we fed them one right after another instead of at the same time.

Last but not least, do a trial! I cannot stress this enough. While I know it's not always possible, doing a week-long trial (which would've been cut short had they not gotten along) can relieve a lot of stress. You don't feel like you “have” to keep the dog, and your dog will pick up on that vibe. Relax, man!

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I love watching them play and grow together, and part of that includes making sure they stay healthy. We do this by making sure they get their annual heartworm test at Banfield Pet Hospital®, and their dose of ProHeart6® every 6 months. I remember having Isis, and seeing that she was a happy and healthy dog, but nothing compares to how happy she is now that she has “Brudder” by her side. They've both definitely found their “happy place” – together.

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You can receive ONE FREE EXAM AND CONSULTATION at Banfield Pet Hospital®, just like I did! This offer is valid for new clients only, and expires 1/15/16. Additional restrictions may apply.

We have been using Banfield Pet Hospital® for about two years. When we moved to Arizona, we first visited a local vet that was well-known and supposed to be amazing. We took Isis in, and with her being scared of males (she's always been that way), she was a bit skittish. She didn't growl, or even bark – she basically cowered in the corner. He labeled her as “aggressive” and wanted us to put a muzzle on her! Um, no, doesn't work that way, buddy!

We looked for new vets and got a glowing recommendation for Banfield Pet Hospital®. We signed up for the Optimum Wellness Plan® because it saved us a lot of money on her vet care, and as soon as we got Titus, we brought him in as well. We put them both on the ProHeart6® because it was convenient – and with the plan we were on, it was also affordable. Heartworm disease is spread by infected mosquitoes, and is potentially fatal – that's not something we wanted to mess around with.

Isis used to be terrified to visit the vet, but she's gotten used to it – and Titus loves it! All of the vet techs love on them and treat them like the loveable pups they are, instead of some “dangerous” dogs just because of how they look. I mean, when I say “how they look” … really, how can you resist a face like this?

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What's YOUR dog's happy place? Share in the comments!

adding a dog to the family

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Banfield Pet Hospital®.

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Laurie Bennett

Laurie Bennett

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  1. Lol my 6 digs happy place is under my feet (chihuahuas) and if they aren’t under my feet they are under ALL the blankets

  2. My dogs are always happy when they get to take over my bed haha, so I guess you could say their happy place is my happy place, bed.

  3. My dogs are total butts to each other most of the time. There are moments that they get along… As long as there is enough room somewhere to lay down and sleep, especially the bulldog, then everything is good lol

  4. I have 3 cats and their happy place is where ever is least convenient for the humans in the house lol but all 3 are rescues and if I were to ever get a doggy he (or she) would be a rescue as well.

  5. We have two rescued dogs. Kylie is a lab mix who hates water, so her happy place is anywhere dry. Lol
    Malcolm is a pit bull mix who loves water so much we can’t leave him in the backyard with water in his kiddie pool or he will drown himself. His happy place is in the water, any kind of water, or in the bed with us.

  6. My dog’s happy place is actually inside any cardboard box! :) She loves them and it reminds me of when my kids were young and loved the boxes more than the gift inside them.

  7. I have a 6 year old pit named Princess. (We didn’t name her, but it fits her so well, we kept it) her happy place is the field by our house. We take her there to run in the morning. She gets the biggest smile when she gets to run.

  8. Your dogs are SO beautiful. I love seeing pictures of them! We also adopted a second dog when our Duke was about three years old. It was definitely an adjustment period for all of us, but since Sonny was a puppy, Duke always maintained his place as boss. As a matter of fact, Sonny worships the ground Duke walks on to this day. They are both big lazy babies and I think there happy place is definitely my bed! Thank you for sharing your dogs’ story.

  9. I have 4 fur babies.My littlest chihuahua Lunas happy place is literally sitting on top of one of my boobs..lol….My chihuahua Joy Moons happy place is in a magazine rack I keep next to the back door.My boxer Jupiters happy place is in my chihuahuas bed..and my lab/pit mix Destinys happy place is in a big hole she dug beside my shed.

  10. I don’t have dogs but we recently introduced a new cat to our home. I’ve only ever had one cat at a time so this was a new area for me. The cat I already had had been an only cat for two years so I wasn’t sure how well he’d get along with another. Luckily we slowly introduced them to each other over the course of a week and they got along right away! They are best buds now and get into mischief together.

  11. Gorgeous doggies and great blog post. I have 4 doggie children and they’re happy place is in Wisconsin on the boat and trying to catch fishes running around the shorelines.

  12. As funny as it may sound, my pit’s happy place is laying on his back on the floor while my 2 year old lays beside him. My little boy will lay with his head on a pillow while he watches cartoons, and the dog will lay beside him. He’ll wag his tail half the time and stay there until my little boy gets up. As soon as my little boy lays back down, the dog is in his place right beside him. Always on his back. Lol!

  13. I currently don’t have a dog. My dog jumped the fence (first time ever) and got hit by a car that never even stopped. That was a good six years ago and I still think about her all the time. She used to love to sleep in my little girls bed, and at the time we were having trouble getting my daughter out of our bed so it was like the dog had the bed all to herself lol. AnywAy this is great article and it can even apply to cats. I have two cats and a lot of the same things apply. One is dominant. One is playful, one is serious, and just getting them assimilated to each other was hard, now they are bffs. I’d love to introduce a dog into the mix, but I’m scared of upsetting the delicate balance.

  14. My dogs happy place is in the bed with my middle daughter. We only have one dog because my dog hates all other dogs lol. But that advice is definitely solid!!

  15. Our Roxie likes to be within about 5 feet of me always! Her happy place is either on our love seat sprawled out or in our bed. Yes, we’re that kind of pet parents!

  16. Our dogs happy place is when its bed time and she gets to cuddle up with me. I think its just laying one me like a moose but her face says I love cuddling with u momma

  17. My rescue seizure pup safe place is being next to me, when he is in a seizure his safe place is in this specially fixed padded room. My other pup’s safe place is in her kennel even when door is left open.

  18. Both of my dogs happy place is on my lap in the recliner. Not very comfortable for me with about a hundred lbs of dog on me but they love it and I can’t resist there sweet little faces!! And we use Banfield too. Best decision ever!

  19. My dog’s happy place is the bed in her crate. She is a St. Bernard so her crate is gigantic. It takes up basically half the family room, but it’s her safe place and she wants to be with the family – me and the cats – at all times. I keep the door open while I’m home so she can come in and out as she pleases and shut the door when I’m away. She knows in her crate she is safe and has her bed, and a toy, and water. She is a happy girl there. She does wish a kitty would visit sometimes though.

  20. My beagle Maggie’s happy place is as close as she can be to me haha! On the floor, couch, or in bed she’s always snuggling up and demanding to be loved. Introducing a human brother to her was harder than a doggie sister :-)

  21. My dog Emmaus’ happy place is with her goats. She’s half Great Pyrenees and half Anatolian Shepherd and 100% sweetheart. She’s a big polar bear who loves to cuddle with my 7 year old son.

  22. my dogs happy places are:
    Zeus: in the ring sling baby carrier, hes still only 7lbs
    Baylee: on your lap
    Jemma: on top of something! she climbs the play structures and sits on top of the dog house.. they are all bullys :)

  23. Roxy loves to sit under my desk in her dog bed, but I’d venture to bet that Roxy is her happiest when I let her outside to run. She is the fastest dog I’ve ever owned. You can almost see her smiling when she’s let out into a big open yard and allowed to just run to her little heart’s contentment.

  24. I would like to think my dog is in his happy place now. Bear is probably running around with other dogs and rough housing and playing, might even get a nice girl doggyfriend.

    I recently lost my dog this past May. Due to cancer and old age. I had to put him down. Sure do miss him greatly. :/

    When Bear spent time with me on this earth he always followed me where ever I went, laying at my feet, resting his head on my leg. Always wanted attention. I always gave in, I couldn’t resist. He was and will forever be a great dog. A true mans best friend.

  25. My dog’s happy place is in her kennel with the curtain closed. lol She goes in there and pulls down a towel over the door. Good tips in this blog.

  26. My Dogs happy place is curled under the covers with me . One lays by my belly the other lays behind my knees and I am not allowed to mover!! They growl at me Love my babies!!

  27. Great things to know. We are planning to get a dog soon. Our kids have been wanting one for a long time now. We will have to get the dog used to our cats not another dog. Not sure how well that will go.

  28. My dog’s happy place is among us when we are relaxing in the living room. She also loves to roll and play with our toddler.

  29. I have two dogs, Theia and Thor. We have a special happy place for all of us on the couch… I lay down on my side, and Thor curls up behind my knees. Theia curls up by my chest, acting like “little spoon.” After a while, we get up and play or go hiking! I’d like to think my happy place is the same as theirs… with each other<3

  30. My dog’s favorite place is where ever I am. He is a cuddler, so when I sit down, he comes over & either gets in my lap or lays down with his head on my leg.

  31. My dog, Bobwire happy place is alway on the porch right I front of the door. After losing our Pugh in July, we didn’t think it was capable to love a fur baby again but along came Bobwire.

  32. I have 3 wonderful (adopted) pets. Freckles’, my border collie mix – shelter rescue, happy place is definitely the car! It doesn’t matter where we are going or for how long, if he gets to ride along it is a great day! Lady Belle’s, our great pyrenees – adopted from a friend, loves to be outside in the cooler temperatures! Right now we have to beg, plead and offer awesome treats to get her to come inside! Rose’s, anatolian shepherd runt (very small for her breed) – dropped off at our house and gladly added to the family, is anywhere and everywhere with us. If she is being cuddled, loved on, petted, you name it as long as it is attention, she is smiling (literally) and happy!

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