Can Dogs Provide Emotional Support for Each Other?


Studies have shown just how amazing dogs can be for our emotional well-being, and in today’s world, everyone can use a little emotional support—including dogs themselves. 

Sometimes, like humans, dogs can use a little help from canine companions. In a new report, Arnold, a Weimaraner that was badly injured by a much larger dog at two years old, was able to regain his confidence once his owner adopted another dog. On their joint instagram account, Carolyn Manalisthe, the owner of both dogs, says that with the help of a companion canine, Arnold was able to feel comfortable playing and engaging with other dogs again. 

Dogs that suffer from traumatic events, such as being abandoned, abused or having a bad experience with another dog, may exhibit signs of emotional distress and need treatment to heal. In some cases, treatment may revolve around desensitization and counterconditioning. For a dog like Arnold to live side by side with another pet helped him face his fear and allowed him to be more comfortable moving around other pets. 

First and foremost, a few elements need to line up for pet owners to consider taking the steps to welcome a new dog. As with people, it’s not always clear whether or not two dogs will get along. Although it’s tempting to think the best way to address anxiety or stress is by welcoming another dog into the home to serve as a playmate or companion when a pet parent isn’t around, this alone will not help pets overcome their problems. A dog missing its owner might not be impacted by a new pet coming into the mix, the personality of the two animals may not mix, or the older dog may become territorial, among other issues that may arise. To help both dogs feel as comfortable when getting used to each other, VCA Animal Hospital offers several suggestions for how pet parents can prepare both dogs to meet each other and get used to one another.

As a retailer giving advice about how best to handle a pet’s emotional stress, it's important to ask questions to gauge what's best for the family, and what works best for the pet. Offering calming solutions in the form of supplements, toys or other products can help dogs feel more at ease. With proper training, behavioral problems can be addressed without the need for another animal to enter the household. 

For owners looking for alternative ways to help ease a pet's anxiety, there are multiple natural solutions to ease a pet’s emotional stress on the market that can help.