You may be thinking about getting a second dog to keep the first company. You may feel that your dog is lonely and be saying to yourself should I get another dog for my lonely dog. This may be a good idea, but it is a serious decision. You do need to do the necessary research to ensure it is the right decision for you, your current dog and any new dog that you are bringing into the home.
If you think your dog is lonely, read “Lonely dog symptoms and solutions” to learn more.
Pros and cons of getting a second dog
Before getting a second dog to keep the first company it is important to weigh up the pros and cons of your potential decision. Here are some reasons to get a second dog and the reasons why this may not be a good idea in your situation. It is important that you make the right situation and discuss it fully when the family or anyone that the decision may affect. If it doesn’t work out it can be heartbreaking to have to rehome one of the dogs later.
Reasons to get a second dog
- Playmate and company for your current dog.
- May help your dog if they have any separation anxiety or suffer from isolation stress.
- Twice the fun and love to give and enjoy.
- Provide a home for a dog in need, especially if you are adopting a dog from a rescue shelter.
- Training can be easier with the second dog. In part because you have experience from your first dog and in part because they learn from each other.
- Can help burn energy off each other. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have to exercise your dogs just because you have two.
Why you should not get a second dog
- Financial cost. There are many costs to owning a pet such as food, vet bills or pet insurance, grooming, licensing or registration fees and so on. Also, you have to take into account the cost of boarding as this will be double if you go on vacation.
- Increased cleaning. Dogs can make a mess not to mention the fur they leave around the house. Two dogs can make twice the mess. Not to mention that they will produce twice the poo to clean up.
- The risk they don’t get along. With a new dog in the home, there is the potential for competition over resources such as food and toys. You will need to make a plan for the introduction of the new dog to avoid these potential problems. Many dog trainers recommend that your second dog is of the opposite gender to your current one. This will lessen the potential of them fighting. I had three male dogs at one stage and there was never any problems, but it is important to set the rules and boundaries from the start.
- If the new dog you are getting is going to be a puppy you will go through all the work such as potty training and so that you did with your first dog.
- May make any behavior issues with your current dog worst. If your dog has behavior issues such as barking, aggression or destructive behavior this will be a case of double trouble.
- If you have other pets such as a cat, a second dog may make life a little more stressful for them.
This video is a good explanation of some of the issues that may arise when getting a second dog from a dog trainers point of view.
Should I get a second dog quiz
Here are some important questions to consider and discuss with everyone that is to be involved. The answers to the questions may not be black and white. Just because it may not make financial, logistical or logical sense to get a second dog, in some cases, if your heart and commitment is greater you can still make it work. In fact, if you are emotionally committed and willing to make any sacrifice that may be required that is probably the most important thing.
1. Is the increased financial commitment going to be a problem? Ensure that you calculate the costs of having a second dog and allow extra for any unexpected costs that may arise such as medical emergencies.
2. Do you have the time necessary to devote to the dog’s needs? If you are getting a second dog simply because your dog is home alone a lot of the time it may be a bad idea. For example, if you have had complaints about your dog barking, adding a second dog probably won’t fix the problem. It may, in fact, make it twice as bad.
3. What is the temperament of your current dog? If your current dog is simply not friendly with other dogs it may cause a problem. In many cases, a dog that is not dog-friendly may come to accept and bond with the new dog. However, The introduction and rules must be established from the start.
4. Why do you want a second dog? Be honest with yourself and make sure you are getting a second dog for the right reasons. If you want a new puppy just because puppies are cute or your friend has two dogs may not be sufficient reason.
5.Is everyone in the household in agreement with the idea. If somebody that will be affected by the decision is against the idea it may lead to arguments and bad feeling in the home.
6. What is your living situation? Are you a renter, have your own house or live with family? If you had to move would having two dogs be a problem?
7. If you decide to go ahead and get a second dog, what dog will you get? Will it be a puppy or an older dog. Sometimes an old dog will not get along with a young over the top dog or puppy. Are you going to get a dog from a breeder or will you want to adopt a rescue dog?
8. Are you committed and willing to make any sacrifices and extra work that may be required to make it work?
Summary – Should I get another dog
Getting a second dog is a serious decision and commitment. You will need to take into consideration all the pros and cons to decide if it is something that makes sense to do. Even if the logistics or even financial issues say it is best not to get a second dog doesn’t mean that the answer is no. The most important consideration and question you need to answer is are you emotionally committed and willing to make the sacrifices that may be needed. If you get it wrong the heartbreak of not being able to keep one of the dogs can be devastating.
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