How Much Harder Is It To Have 2 Dogs?
If having one dog is good, then surely having two or more must be even better, right? While having a multi-dog home can be great, it’s not for everyone or every dog. Although many dogs can thrive in a home with other pups, not all can easily adjust. For example, if your current dog isn’t comfortable around other dogs, then bringing home another puppy mightn’t be the best choice. That’s why it’s so important to be thoughtful and prepared before adding another dog to your family. If you’re thinking of taking on another dog, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration.
The Additional Cost Of Getting Another Dog
The more dogs you have, the more you’ll need to spend in order to care for them. In addition to daily maintenance such as food, toys, and treats, expenses such as training and vet care will also be increased. Another potential cost to keep in mind is pet health insurance.
Before bringing home a new dog, it’s recommended to do some long-term financial planning for the costs of adding additional dogs to your family. When preparing a budget, pay special attention to added veterinary costs for senior dogs or for a dog that gets injured and may need surgery or longer-term care. At the end of the day, owning another dog can be expensive. The reason why it’s important is that the decision simply isn’t the right financial choice for everyone at every stage in life.
Having 2 Dogs Requires More Time
Other than finances, the biggest challenge that many people face when owning 2 dogs is having enough time for them. Although many dogs enjoy engaging and playing with other dogs in the home, it doesn’t diminish the amount of time each dog needs and deserves from you. A common reason for adding another dog is to keep another dog company. Sometimes this works. However, if you have one lonely and bored dog while you spend long hours at work, by adding another dog it can end up with you having two lonely and bored dogs.
All dogs need individual focus, attention, play, and training daily, along with regular grooming. Having another dog means an increase in the daily time spent playing and working with your dogs to make sure each dog is getting enough attention.
Some dogs can be quite happy spending unsupervised time together after being properly introduced. However, depending on the ages, sizes, and temperaments of the dogs, you may need to plan for ongoing supervision. So, unless you’re confident that the two dogs get along well together without being redirected, you shouldn’t leave multiple dogs loose together. Instead, you may need to use crates, gates, or different rooms to create areas of the house for each dog.
There’re also some safety considerations to owning two dogs, particularly with dogs of different ages or sizes. For example, if you have dogs with different energy levels, it’s important to ensure that the more active dog can meet their needs without bothering the calmer dog. Potential situations where dogs have to sort things out between themselves need to be avoided. Rather, you need to redirect the more energetic dog before the calmer dog gets frustrated. Similarly, you want to be particularly careful about supervising a small dog who lives with a large dog.
Even when playing, a small dog can easily be accidentally injured by a much larger dog. The larger the size difference between the two dogs, the more you may need to closely supervise their play and along with their other interactions.
Reasons To Get A Second Dog
If you’ve previously had two dogs who got on well and you’ve recently lost one, your dog may well be still attached to the previous dog and would benefit from another adult dog, or perhaps a puppy.
If you have the time and money to look after and train a new dog, walking two dogs and helping your first dog adjust to the new arrival, then both dogs will be much happier and better behaved.
If your dog enjoys the company of other dogs. As long as you’re not getting a second dog as a substitute for not being able to spend time with your first dog and if your dog enjoys the company of other dogs, the second dog has a much better chance of fitting into your home.
You may be considering getting a second dog if your first dog is getting old. If you can’t imagine life without a dog and you know your first dog is getting older, then it’s common for owners to introduce a second dog to help ease the pain and fill the void when the first dog eventually passes.
Here Are 6 Reasons Why Two Dogs Are Better Than One
While having two dogs at once could seem like a lot of work, there’re a few reasons to have two dogs in one home. Dogs are good at keeping each other company, entertaining each other, and learning from each other. Although whether or not you should have two dogs depends on the environment you live in, your capacity to care for them, if you can afford to care for another dog and how any pets already in your home would deal with additional dogs. Here are 6 benefits of having two dogs and why two dogs could be better than one.
1. They Can Keep Each Other Entertained And Exercised
Playtime is a vital component to any dog’s health, happiness, socialization, and overall development—although it can take up a good chunk of your day. Depending on your current dog’s size, breed, age, and energy level, you can spend anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours a day exercising them.
One way to ensure your dog will get enough exercise could be by adding a second dog to the mix. However, you’ll still have to spend some one-on-one time with each dog every day—it’s actually very important for their development and socialization, although they can help to keep each other exercised and entertained.
Plus, while you’re at work or running an errand, they’ll keep each other company, so they’re less likely to resort to boredom-induced hijinks around the house. After all, everyone knows that a bored dog is a mischievous dog.
2. An Older Dog Can Make Puppy Training Easier
It can be tough teaching an old dog new tricks, however, an old dog can certainly teach a new dog some tricks—along with the rules of the house. After all, dogs are pack animals and always look to their pack leader for guidance, a role your older dog will naturally take on if you were to introduce a puppy to the family.
Many people find puppy training is a lot easier with an older dog and a new pup—a puppy will look to its senior for guidance, and model its behavior after the senior. Having an older dog can also make potty training your puppy a lot easier, too, as dogs tend to do their business where other dogs have already gone, so your puppy will probably poop in the same spots as your older dog.
3. Help Ease Separation Anxiety
Many dogs can suffer from separation anxiety or feelings of intense anxiety that happens when they’re left alone. While some dogs simply grow out of their separation anxiety, there are some cases that require extra attention and solutions, like specialized training and emotional therapy.
Some dogs may appreciate a doggy companion to help keep them calm and entertained while their owner is away. Separation anxiety can be quite complex, and for some dogs, an unfamiliar dog in their house may increase their anxiety rather than lessen it. That’s why it’s best to consult with your veterinarian or behaviorist before making a big change for any dog with separation anxiety.
4. Saving A Second Life
One of the best reasons to get another dog is if you adopt two dogs, you’re saving two lives.
It’s estimated that over 3.9 million dogs enter animal shelters every year—and unfortunately 1.2 million of them are euthanized. By adopting a dog, you can directly impact (and save) the lives of dogs by giving them a safe, happy home. Plus, adopting a dog from your local animal shelter creates another space for another dog in need.
5. It Doesn’t Cost That Much More
While there are some extra costs, the good news is that you can double your cuteness without doubling your finances. Other than regular check-ups, having two dogs at the same time doesn’t cost much more than having one.
Dogs can share many of the same supplies, such as toys, beds, grooming products, water bowls, larger bags of food, and treats. Although, it’s important to note that some puppy food is formulated differently than food for full-grown dogs, so you should talk to your vet about whether or not a new puppy and an older dog can share the same food.
6. Double The Love
Probably the number one reason why people add a second dog to the family is that their first dog brought so much love and joy into their homes, and they want more! After all, there’s nothing better than coming home to a pet who loves you unconditionally—and you can double down on that love by adding a second canine family member.
While having two dogs can feel like a lot of work sometimes, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.