Do Pets Need Pals?

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Many pet owners often wonder if bringing another pet into the home will enrich or essentially ruin their current pet’s life – and it’s absolutely a fair consideration. November 19 is National Get a PAL for your Pet Day, an awareness holiday established by an incredibly amazing nonprofit (hehe) in an attempt to get people thinking about bringing in a companion for their pet. Unless your pet is downright antisocial (and we’re sure you’re aware of such), they can most likely benefit from the companionship of another animal. In honor of Get a PAL for your Pet Day, we’re presenting a few pros to multiple pet ownership and some tips on choosing your pet’s pal.

  • Beating loneliness. The same way having the support of a best friend helps people in their daily life, having a four-legged friend can help pets feel less lonely which is emotionally enriching and reduces stress. It also makes pets more sociable, which always makes life easier.
  • Prompting play. If your pet’s starting to slow down a little, a youthful counterpart may be the perfect antidote to their sedentary lifestyle.
  • Certain similarities matter. You don’t have to get your pet a companion that’s the same age, breed, or even the same species, but certain things – like how they play and how often they like to relax – should be considered. If your pet’s submissive then don’t get them a companion that’s too domineering and rough; if your older dog likes to nap, consider a 4- or 5-year-old buddy, rather than a hyper young pup. A meet and greet between the two is essential to pinpointing these behaviors and will help determine if they are a fit.
  • Talk with the shelter.The shelter should gladly tell you everything they know about the pet you’re interested in, but be sure to flat-out ask if they are good with other animals and if they have any playtime quirks, like doing better with similar-sized dogs or exhibiting aggression over toys or food bowls.
  • Introduction – After the meet-and-greet, and once you’ve determined your pets can be playmates, it’s time to introduce your pet to the household. There are a few different ideas on how best to do this, but you know your [current] pet best and should do whatever is best for them. Some pets may not feel territorial over the home while others may have a strong reaction; we suggest doing your research on various ways of introducing two animals and tailoring it to your animal’s temperament.
  • Monitor and Enjoy – It’s up to you to play referee in the beginning. Make sure you’re closely monitoring both pets’ behavior and correcting it accordingly. Other than that, enjoy! Watching your pet goof around with a new friend is as heart-warming as it is entertaining and you should know you just did something great for your pet’s well-being.

If you’ve recently gotten your pet a playmate, we want to see and hear all about your experience so get to sharing!

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