January 23

Getting a Puppy while Having an Old Dog?

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Our dog is getting pretty old. Chelsea sleeps most of the time and doesn’t play much any more. Our 16-year-old son is begging for a puppy. I’m not sure getting a puppy is fair to Chelsea and, to be honest, I’m also not sure I want a puppy. What do you suggest? ~ Jackie

Think long and hard before getting a puppy. Your son will likely move out in the next few years, and the puppy will stay with you for the next decade or so.

If you decide to get a puppy, make sure that Chelsea can get away when she wants a break. With age comes a few privileges, and one is that you shouldn’t have to deal with wild youngsters all the time. She’s earned undisturbed naps in sunny spots.

Be sure to give the puppy plenty of exercise and seek out some playmates for him. The more energy he can expend with you, your son, and other dogs, the less he’ll pester Chelsea.

With careful consideration to the older dog’s needs, many families find the addition of a puppy less stressful than they anticipated. Often the older dog even perks up a bit and begins to play again.


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