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The Green-Eyed Monster Named Jealousy

One day you bring home another furry bundle of joy. The problem is, the dog currently in residence - the one you adore, who always came to you for pats and snuggles - suddenly decides he wants nothing to do with either you or the new family member. What to do?

The Adjustment Period

Pets can display jealousy too, and to help smooth the transition to a more-than-one-pet household, try to:

  • Continue to lavish attention on your "first" pets. It's so easy to get caught up with the newcomer ... but your other pets may be feeling a bit put out. Spend plenty of time with them reassuring them that they're still a special part of the family.

  • Take things slowly; don't force your pets together. Introduce them in controlled situations, and give them time to adjust at their own pace. Allow them to gain confidence and decide when they'd like to face their new housemates.

  • Feed them away from each other. Use separate food and water bowls, and keep them physically separated when eating. Do not tolerate aggressive behavior.

  • Always supervise your pets until you are sure they get along. For the first couple of months, we left one of the dogs in the kennel and the other free whenever we had to go out. Some pets will adjust quickly; others may take weeks or even months before they're fully adjusted.