A senior dog with a younger companion puppy.

Your senior dog has been your loving companion for years, and if he’s slowing down and staying closer to home, it’s natural to want him to have a friend by his side. 

At Bayside Animal Hospital, we love providing expert dog and puppy care, plus senior pet care, to help pets stay healthy and active throughout their lives. If you’re thinking of getting a puppy with an older dog, our team has some helpful hints for making the best decision for your aging pet.

Benefits of Getting a Puppy With an Older Dog

When senior dogs become less active, they are at risk of boredom or loneliness. A new puppy can provide valuable companionship and inspire the older dog to be more mobile. Plus, puppies and their playful antics serve as distractions and sources of entertainment for senior dogs.

And this relationship is a two-way street! Your new puppy will tag along behind your senior pet during potty breaks, dinner time, and downtime, and “learn” the rules of the house. 

While these are great benefits, consider the following factors before deciding if a new addition is right for your senior dog.

Puppies Are a Lot of Work

New puppies must be housetrained, which will require a lot of your time, patience, and energy. Plus, puppies are constantly on the move, have short attention spans, and need an adjustment period in their new environment. 

You will be caring for a senior dog and a new puppy at the same time. Is this feasible, given your work schedule and other lifestyle factors?

Your Senior Dog’s Health and Temperament

If your aging dog is slowing down and simply prefers lounging over swimming or hiking, a new puppy might be an ideal way of keeping your older dog’s mind and body active. If, however, your senior dog is battling serious illnesses, the addition of any new pet could cause undue stress and anxiety for both you and your aging dog. 

Also keep in mind your aging pet’s demeanor. Does he usually play well with others? Or can he be territorial or aggressive? 

It’s best to first schedule a thorough examination with your veterinarian to give you a better understanding of your aging dog’s overall health and well-being.

Do You Have Room for Two?

The last thing you want is for your aging dog to feel displaced. Give your new puppy his own food and water bowls, his own toys, and his own bed. Crate training can give your new puppy his own space—and give your senior dog an occasional break! 

Should I Get Another Dog For My Senior Dog?

Weigh all of your aging dog’s needs against the demands of a new puppy before making a final decision. You want your aging dog to thoroughly enjoy his golden years!

Please contact us to schedule an appointment for your older pet or if you have any questions about adopting a new puppy.