Should You Get A Second Dog? 6 Things to Consider
Owning a dog can fill your home with love. Your dog is always happy to see you. They want to share meals with you, go for walks with you, and play games whenever you want to play. Getting a second dog is twice the love, right? Whether you have fallen in love with a new puppy, have your eye on a charming rescue, or you're just worried that your dog is lonely while you're at work, getting a second dog could be a wonderful next step.
But is now the right time for a second dog? Pet ownership is an important responsibility. You owe it to both your first and second dogs to make sure you and your household are ready to welcome a second dog into your home. Here are six things to consider before getting a second dog.
Your Dog's Temperament
Most dogs love company, but not all dogs. Some dogs are loners or like their routine so much that interruptions are less welcome. If your dog is big-hearted, energetic, and social, they might take great joy in welcoming a new dog into your home. However, if your dog is more independent, hostile toward other dogs, or does not like changes in their routine, they may be less joyful about a new doggy brother or sister in the house.
The Ages of Both Dogs
Dog relationships can be defined by their age difference. Puppies can usually make instant friends with a new puppy, and middle-aged dogs can often take a parental role to a new puppy or happy friends with another middle-aged dog. Elderly dogs may be more set in their ways and may have trouble sharing with a younger dog, and should be personality-matched with older dogs that join the family.
Dog ages paired with dog personalities can determine if your first and second dogs can be good friends.
Your Available Time, Space, and Budget
Do you, the human, have the resources to take in a second dog? While you may be worried that your dog is lonely, two dogs need more space, food, and even more of your time. Two dogs need twice the walks, play, and snuggles. It's very important to make sure that you and your home are ready to welcome a second dog and the responsibilities that come with them.
How Your Dog Acts Around Other Dogs
Your dog may be a sweetheart with you, but do they act with other dogs? Do they make friends easily at the dog park or defend their territory around strange dogs? Is your dog nervous, surly or cheerful around other dogs? This can influence how your first dog will respond if you bring a second dog home.
How Your Dog Handles Play-Dates and Sleepovers
Dogs can also act differently between dog park friends and new dogs in their personal space. You can test your dog's temperament regarding a second dog by inviting a friend's dog over for a doggy play-date or a sleepover. Offer to dog-sit the pet of a friend or relative to give your first dog a chance to show their attitude about another dog that might come to live with you.
Meeting the Right Second Dog
Of course, it also depends on the nature of your second dog. If the shelter will allow it, bring your dog to meet the other dogs and discover how they get along with your potential second dog. A friendly and welcoming personality in your second dog can help make instant friends. For older or more aloof first-dogs, a better match might be found in a quiet and respectful second dog. By matching personalities, it's important to remember that even surly or nervous dogs can make a new best friend.
Is it time to get a second dog? If you proceed with care and consideration, you can welcome a second dog into your home who can become good friends with your first dog.