Canine Companions: 7 Benefits of Getting a Puppy With an Older Dog


Dec. 4 2023, Published 4:28 p.m. ET

An older dog with a puppy.
Source: iStock

A dog is a wonderful addition to your family. They are loyal companions who provide a neverending supply of unconditional love. As your canine companion gets older, you may consider adopting a new puppy.

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There are many benefits of getting a puppy with an older dog at home, provided that your older dog can tolerate other dogs or doesn’t have serious health issues. Here are seven benefits to getting a puppy when you already have an older dog at home.

A puppy and an older dog.
Source: Getty Images
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1. A puppy can provide companionship for your older dog.

Everyone needs a friend, including your older dog. They may have slowed down over the years, but still need someone to play with and keep their minds sharp. Socialization is essential to a dog’s health and happiness, regardless of age. A new puppy can entertain an older dog when you aren’t available, per The Spruce Pets.

2. A puppy may encourage your older dog to be more active.

Puppies have a lot of energy, which can encourage your older dog to be more active just to keep up. It will be harder for your older dog to spend too much time laying around when they have a puppy ambushing them or trying to engage them in some playful roughhousing, per PetKeen.

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3. Increased activity and happiness can help your older dog live longer.

An older dog that is more active, both physically and mentally, may have a longer life expectancy. According to Petland, a new puppy may inadvertently help your older pup lose a few pounds and stay mentally alert, which is beneficial in helping them live longer.

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4. An older dog can mentor a puppy.

Adding a puppy to a home with an older dog benefits the older dog and the puppy. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but your older dog may be able to teach a puppy a thing or two. According to Petland, an older dog can also be a comforting mentor and friend to a puppy taken away from their mother and siblings.

5. Two dogs can keep each other company while you’re away.

Some dogs hate to be left alone, especially puppies adjusting to a new home. This separation anxiety can cause them to do naughty things like chew furniture that they shouldn’t or bark incessantly. Having a companion can help settle the anxiety your pup may feed when left alone, per PetKeen.

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6. You open your home to another dog in need.

Shelters are full of puppies looking for loving homes, so why not open your heart and home to one? According to The Spruce Pets, the cost of having two dogs versus one isn’t much more expensive, and, as we’ve already mentioned, it can benefit your older dog.

7. A puppy can help you manage your grief when the older dog passes.

Inevitably, the time will come when your older dog is ready to go over the rainbow bridge. The death of a beloved family member will be an emotional time, but having another dog at home may help to lessen the blow, per PetKeen.

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