It’s estimated that nearly 40% of homes in America have at least one resident canine. Chances are good that you can count yourself among those households. Whether you have one pooch and are considering adding another or are thinking about adding a dog to your already growing pack, you are looking for tips on how to live peacefully with multiple dogs. Here is the good news: it can be done!
While many pet guardians bring a second — or fifth — dog into their home with little to no issue, it’s important to consider several factors. The more prepared you are emotionally, physically, and monetarily, the easier the transition to a multiple-dog household will be.
We know that you are being thoughtful in this decision because, after all, you are here reading this article. Well, friends, read on! Here are five questions to ask yourself before you bring another four-legged child into your home.
1. Can I Financially Support Another Dog?
Even with pet insurance, caring for any animal properly can be expensive. According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), Americans spent $72 billion on their pets in 2018. That was up from the year before, and the year before that, and …you get the idea.
You can afford one dog. Certainly, you can afford two, right? Not so fast. Let’s say you get a dog of a similar size. Your costs will be roughly doubled. What if you get a dog that’s larger? Your costs could potentially be tripled. There’s always the chance the dog could require special attention, too, like a more-expensive diet or more frequent trips to the vet. While you may be able to afford the basics, stop to consider whether or not adding another dog to the home will force you to stop spoiling the first.
Think about whether or not supporting a multiple dog household will make it difficult for you to pay vet bills in an emergency. Maybe the only thing you will have to do to easily afford another pet is to give up your morning trips to the coffee shop. If that’s the case — why not go for it? But if the thought of having a sudden $3,000 emergency expense gives you pause, think the decision over for at least a few more weeks.
2. Is There Room For Another Dog?
You may be thinking, “Sure, what’s one more?” but dogs need room inside the house and outside in the yard. Is your place big enough? If you have joined the tiny house nation, you may not have room for multiple dogs. If you already have three or four dogs in a regular-sized house, then another canine could put you right over the top in terms of space.
Think about whether or not you have room for another crate, room for more dog beds, and space for more toys. You might end up with a four-legged friend who can’t live a single second without you. If you don’t have space, you will find yourself tripping over your pal every time you turn around.
Before you answer the question about if you have enough space, we urge you to take a moment to consider the breed you are thinking of adding to your family. While some giant breeds take up physical space, they are more than content to spend their days napping on the couch. Some little dogs are constantly on the move and need room to run. Figure out the specific needs of the breed and individual temperament of the pet you are considering before you decide on the answer to whether or not you have room for another pet.
3. Do You Have Time For Another Dog?
Two dogs are definitely more fun than one. Three dogs are more fun than two — if you have the time, that is. You may envision gorgeous sunny days full of walks with two calm dogs strutting next to each other cooperatively. It’s a fantastic picture, but not one that can always play out in reality.
While you are deciding whether you have time for another dog, it’s best to pretend like you will have to do everything with one dog at a time. For example, if you spend an hour each day, total, walking your dog, assume adding an extra dog will double the time. With this cushion built-in, if you end up being able to walk all of the dogs together, you’re doing well.
The fact is, you just never know if the new dog can perfectly share the other’s routine. You might have to take two or more walks each day. You may bring home a dog that doesn’t like to walk but could chase a ball for hours. You may get a dog that needs to be brushed every day. Really stop to consider all of the possible scenarios when trying to determine whether or not you have time for an additional dog.
4. Will Your Current Dog(s) Accept a New Friend?
Some people bring home another dog thinking that it will calm down their current furry friend. Others bring home a new dog determined to teach their current dog to be friendly towards others of its kind. Both of these scenarios are mistakes
Consider the temperament of your current dog before deciding to purchase or adopt a new dog. For example, you don’t want to bring home a laid-back dog to befriend the one who is non-stop energy. You don’t want to bring home a new dog when your current pet doesn’t like to share toys or beds. Despite popular opinion, dogs do not automatically like one another simply because they are the same animal. Some dogs are better off alone with their humans. Other dogs may be a fast companion to some types of dogs but not others.
Adding a dog to your home should enhance everyone’s life …including that of your already faithful companion. If bringing a new pet into the house is going to cause stress and angst, you would do better to wait until your present dog has passed.
5. Why Do You Want Another Dog?
This is a tough question and really, there is no right answer. There are answers that could use some work:
- Because my dog is lonely
- Because my senior dog needs to perk up
- Because I want my old dog to teach a new puppy how to behave
- Because that puppy in the window is so cute
You should bring a new dog into your home because you have the time and energy for more than one. Or because your current dog really does want a friend, and you feel confident the benefits of this new companion outweigh the drawbacks of having to share your attention. Or because everyone in the house is ready to welcome a new addition and put in the work it will take to turn your new pet into an exceptional member of the family.
Ask the tough questions in advance, or you’ll be forced to come up with tough answers later on.
Our Boarding and Training Facility Is Ready When You Are
One major question about having two dogs is: what happens when I need to go away, or need to leave them alone all day?
The good news is that there is a dog boarding facility near you, and it also offers pet training to help all your dogs gain new footing together.
We are happy to welcome as many dogs as you want to include in your family! At Greenlin Pet Resorts, we know what it’s like to be obsessed with dogs. We love yours as much as we love our own. Whether you need a safe, trustworthy resort for your canines while you are on vacation or need help introducing a new dog to your current one, we are here to serve you and your four-legged friends.
Our resort offers a place for your dog to spend a week or train for an hour. Our goal is to ensure you and your dogs are treated exceptionally at every visit. Call us today or schedule online and give your pets a vacation as fantastic as your own.