Selecting A Playmate For Your Dog
Our dogs bring us immeasurable amounts of joy and we want them to be as happy as they make us. And just like us, dogs are social creatures that need friends to be happy. While we may not be able to accommodate two dogs in our homes, we can introduce them to other pups in the neighborhood that they can pal around with. Here are a few ideas on how to select a playmate for your dog.
Before You Start Looking
After a long day, your dog may be calm and sleepy, which can be misinterpreted as being lonely or bored, but may not be the case. Unfortunately, your dog can't tell you if he wants another dog to play with. Your dog may be satisfied relaxing as king canine of the house; it doesn't necessarily mean he needs a buddy. Before you start looking for a friend for your dog, you'll have to read his body language when he encounters other dogs on walks. If he's excited to see other dogs, start looking for playmates. If he shies away when another dog approaches, you may be all he needs in a playmate.
Dating For Dogs
Much like making human friends, dog friends aren't going to just show up at your house; you have to get your dog out there and meet other dogs. Pack your lunch bags and spend an afternoon at the dog park scoping out potential playmates. See which dogs he has chemistry with. Strike up a conversation with the owners and gauge if there's any interest in setting up playdates. It's a little bit of work, but it's worth it if you think your dog wants new friends.
We can use the Internet for all sorts of connections, including making friends for our dogs! There are now websites like Match Puppy where you can set up a profile for you and your dog to find like-minded dog pals. This gives you the opportunity to have a few exchanges with another dog owner to figure out if your dogs' play styles and personalities match up before you meet up in person. It allows you to really calculate a meeting and be selective about introductions.
Doggy Day Care
Doggy daycare is a great place to find a playmate for your pup. If you haven't tried it, there are many benefits: dogs get lots of attention, there are many socialization opportunities, and they get plenty of exercise during the day when they'd otherwise be confined to the house. Just like a child daycare, your dog makes new friends at doggy daycare that can carryover outside of the facility. The only work you'll have to do is make a connection with the owner of your dog's new pal to set up playdates.
There are so many ways you can show your dog how much you love him. You can shower him with toys and give him the most comfortable pet bed, but giving him a playmate (even if that playmate is you) is the ultimate gift of love.