Is Your Older Dog Depressed With New Puppy – 6 Steps You Can Take

Last Updated on September 22, 2023 by Linda Richard

Getting a second dog can sometimes lead to issues. Is your older dog depressed with new puppy? Here are 6 steps you can take.

People think that since dogs are naturally social, getting a second dog is always easy. That’s not necessarily the case, however. Many dogs can be territorial. Others are so affectionate that they can feel jealous and even abandoned when you start playing with a new puppy. Such emotions can easily lead a dog even down the path of depression or aggressiveness toward the new pup. So, here’s what you can do.

What To Do If You Have An Older Dog Depressed With New Puppy – 6 Steps

Depending on the breeds, introducing two dogs can either be exceptionally easy and smooth or kind of tricky. Things can get even more complicated if the first dog you own is already old, used to living alone, and enjoys having full control over “its territory” (i.e. your home).

So, you’ve got a dog depressed after a new dog settles in your home. If that’s the situation you find yourself in as you’re reading this article, we’re assuming it’s already too late to tell you to socialize your older dog ahead of time or to let the two dogs meet on neutral ground. Instead, here are the 6 steps you can take now:

  • Give your older dog its own personal space and crate where it can rest unbothered

Give your older dog its own personal space and crate where it can rest unbothered

  • Make sure your older dog doesn’t feel limited in the space it has in your home
  • Keep your older dog’s favorite toys away from your new dog’s reach at first
  • Give your older dog plenty of attention, love, pets, and treats to avoid making the older dog depressed with a new puppy
  • At least one family member should sleep with your older dog if you’re keeping the two dogs separated at night
  • If your older dog is of a breed prone to separation anxiety, you definitely shouldn’t leave it home alone for too long

In Conclusion, What Should You Do If You’ve Got An Older Dog Depressed With New Puppy

As you can see, there are quite a few things you can do if you’ve got an older dog depressed with a new puppy. Still, there are no guarantees as some dogs, especially older ones who’ve lived as the only canine for years, can sometimes never accept a new companion. So, the general rule of thumb is that if it’s been more than a month you should consider contacting a behavioral specialist or giving up. Ideally, you can contact a professional even before that. Either way – good luck!

Read more about: Why Is Your Dog Eating Everything All Of A Sudden – 5 Possible Reasons


How to introduce a new puppy to an old dog?

Introducing a new puppy to such a territorial and grumpy old pooch needs to be a slow and meticulous process. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide:
• Make sure your older dog is well-socialized and isn’t inherently aggressive toward other canines. This is done easily by letting your dog safely interact with dogs in the park.
• Introduce your dog with the new puppy in a neutral territory such as the dog park. Arrange for multiple such meetings if necessary.
• When the two dogs seem to have become friends, bring the young pup home.
• Separate your home into two areas for each dog – let them interact but separate when necessary.
• make sure your old dog gets its more preferred and bigger parts of the home.
• Provide near-constant supervision. Make sure each dog has access to its crate.
• Feed them in separate areas at first.
• Spend plenty of quality time with each. It’s especially important that your older dog doesn’t feel threatened, jealous, or too territorial.
• Slowly merge the initially separated areas of the two dogs when they’ve started getting along well enough.

How to get my older dog to accept the new puppy?

Getting an older dog to accept a new and young one is simple in principle but sometimes requires a bit of patience and persistence. The easiest way to explain it is that you need to maximize the positive experiences for both dogs and minimize the negative ones.
So, you should make sure that stress, jealousy, loneliness, and territorial instincts don’t affect either dog but especially your first pooch. If you’ve introduced both dogs properly and slowly but your older dog still refuses to accept the new pup, make sure that the older dog is as comfortable as possible. For the dog this means:
• Having its own crate
• Eating separately
• Having access to the key parts of your home the dog values most
• Having privacy
• Getting plenty of attention and love from you as to not feel jealous
• Having positive interactions with the new pup whenever possible but avoiding fights and aggression
If you’re persistent and patient, most dogs will eventually accept their younger canine roommates. If the animosity between the two dogs continues for over a month, however, it may be time to call a behavioral specialist or give up.

Do dogs get jealous of new puppies?

Dogs can very easily get jealous if you give them a reason to. After all, they are highly affectionate and loving animals but they need to feel loved too. For better or for worse, dogs need frequent shows of affection to feel loved – if you just ignore your dog and assume that he will automatically know that you love him, keep in mind that’s not necessarily the case.
So, a major part of getting your old dog get along with a new puppy is ensuring that your first dog never feels a lack or even just a decrease of love, appreciation, and security. This means several things:
Make sure your older dog’s territory isn’t too infringed upon
Keep your old dog’s favorite toys away from your new dog’s reach
Give your old dog lots of company, pets, treats, and attention – more so than before if possible
Make sure at least one family member sleeps with/next to your old dog at night
Do these basic steps and you should be able to minimize your dog’s jealousy. Then, just help your two dogs to enjoy each other’s company.

Linda Richard

I know that all dog breeds are different, but Labradors exude a special energy, don’t they? I believe everyone deserves the unconditional love of a pet, so my main goal is to make sure you can experience it.