When most people think about getting a second dog, the first thing that comes to mind is doubling the fun. But there are many other things to consider before making such a big decision. In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of getting a second dog and help you make the best decision for your family.
Getting a dog is a big step for any family. After all, while the thought of dogs playing, sleeping, and doing everything blissfully together sounds like a dream, it doesn't always work like this. Some dogs don't get along with each other and there are obvious logistical reasons which can make doubling your canine family even more difficult.
Of course, while it is difficult, it is certainly not impossible. Let's now take a look at some of the ways you can ensure that your family can cope with two dogs.
Pros Of Having A Second Dog
The pros of having two dogs far outweigh the cons. For starters, owning two dogs means twice as much love, cuddles and playtime. Dogs are pack animals and it is important for their mental health to have a companion. When you have two or more dogs, they can keep each other company when you're away or busy with something else.
Plus, depending on their breed and size, raising two small-to-medium-sized dogs might actually be cheaper than taking care of one large-breed dog.
Cons Of Having A Second Dog
On the flip side, having two dogs can also mean double the work and effort. You need to spend twice as much time on training, exercise and general care for both of them. It is also more expensive to feed two dogs instead of one, and you will have to buy more toys, grooming supplies and other pet needs.
Additionally, if your home isn't large enough for two dogs to comfortably play without getting in each other's way, it might be a wise idea to reconsider getting a second pup.
How To Make The Process Of Getting A Second Dog Easier
Before you make the final decision about adopting a dog, it is essential to consider how to make this process as easy as possible for you and your family, as well as your canine companions.
Avoid getting two puppies at the same time
To say that puppies are high-energy and demand constant attention would be a gross understatement. It's best to introduce a new puppy to a household that already has an adult dog. That way, the older dog can serve as a role model for the puppy, helping to teach them the ropes.
Quite often, those households that take the plunge and get two puppies at the same time have their hands well and truly full. For example, let's look at toilet training. As any dog owner will testify, this is difficult at the best of times. Then, when you have two puppies in the same house, it will just multiply the chaos!
There generally will be one dominant dog
In almost all cases, one dog will be the dominant one, while the other will take on a more submissive role. It's important to be aware of this and not let the dynamic get out of hand.
In the early days, there can be a tug of power to see who gets this mantle. This is why it is important to introduce the two dogs together on neutral ground. This can at least mean that your existing dog isn't going to have any issues regarding territory, which can be common in the early days.
Your costs don't have to double
A lot of people think that when they get a second dog, their costs are going to double. This needn't be the case.
Quite often, there are economies of scale when buying food, while for insurance purposes, you can often turn to multi pet cover which tends to hold some discounts as well. This also holds true when it comes to dog boarding if they are comfortable enough with each other to share the same kennel.
Give each dog their own space
In the early days, it is essential to give each dog their own space. This could be a crate, a bed, or simply an area in the house just for them. This will give each dog their own space which they can retreat to if things get too much.
On a similar note, make sure that the dogs are fed separately and that any uneaten food is taken away immediately. This can prevent food aggression, which can be common between dogs (whether they live in the same household or not).
They will need plenty of supervision in the early days
Supervision is key during the early days. Fracas' can occur, and it won't be plain sailing as you bid to knit your new canine family together.
However, let's point out that while this can take some time, the end result is utterly worthwhile. More often than not, multiple dogs in the same home will live to love each other and crave their company.
Adding Another Dog To Your Family Is A Big Decision
Getting a second dog is a big decision, and you should take some time to consider the pros and cons listed above. If you have done your research and are confident that you can handle the demands of two dogs, then it doesn't have to be an issue. Just make sure that you are around plenty in order to minimize any potential issues while also ensuring that each dog has their own space. This way, adding another canine companion to your family could be one of the best decisions that you ever made!