In America, 37% of dog owners own more then one dog. Owning multiple dogs can be a lot of fun for you and your dogs, but owning multiple dogs can bring on new a new set of challenges as well. It is important that you consider the pro and cons of owning multiple dogs before you take the plunge.
Evaluate your current dog’s behavior and your relationship. If you are experiencing behavior issues that stem from a lack of leadership, a second dog will not fix this. Also, if you have no control over your current dog, it will only be worse with another dog that is also jumping on people, barking incessantly, and stealing things off of your counters. Make sure your current dog behaves and is manageable on their own first.
Are you ready to train another dog? Remember all of that work and time you put into training your first dog, are you ready for round two? Also consider that once you train your second dog, the training then shifts to training your two dogs together. Additional training drills have to be done to iron out the wrinkles of walking them both at the same time, distinguishing who you are calling to you, and who should remain in a down, and many others.
Are you ready for your expenses to double? Remember, the cost of boarding, grooming, vet bills, food bills, money spent on beds, toys, leashes and collars will most likely double. Dogs should each have their own bowls, beds, and leashes; somethings should not be shared.
It’s not going to be exactly the same. Remember how much of a lifestyle change you went through when you got your first dog? Well, going from one dog to two dogs is going to be a lot easier. You still have to arrange and adjust your schedule to feed and walk them, you still have to make boarding arrangements when you go out of town, and you still have to vacuum up all of that dog hair. But, be prepared for possible new and different responsibilities and obligations that your new dog will bring into your life; such as medications, food allergies and other health issues that your first dog did not come with.
There are no guarantees that your dogs will automatically get along. Although your dog plays well with others at the park, bringing a new dog into your home will be different. Are you prepared to work through issues such as proper introductions, power struggles, and resource guarding?
These are just a few things to think about when considering a second dog. Talk to your friends, family members, and co-workers that own multiple dogs and get their advice, opinions and suggestions for owning more then one dog; and make sure you are ready. Please check back to our dog training blog for a future article that will provide information and tips on selecting a second dog.
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