If you love having one dog, you probably have considered getting another one. Generally speaking, dogs enjoy having a comrade. They are pack animals, after all, so you might expect your dog’s attitude toward a sibling to be “the more the merrier!” However, it’s not always so easy to integrate another dog into your family’s life. There are many things to consider when you are thinking of adding another pet. Here are the questions you should answer before bringing home another dog.
Can You Afford the Extra Expense?
Having two dogs is double the love, but also double the expense. Can you afford to buy twice the food, make two times the number of vet visits, absorb twice as much dog hair and make extra runs outside to scoop the poop? If none of this strikes you as too much, then having a dog could be a great idea?
Does Everyone in the Home Want Another Dog?
It helps if everyone in the household is on the same page about adopting a second dog. The added work, play, and feeding schedule also impacts others in the home. If you are counting on having the help of your spouse, kids, or parents, then you need to consult with them before you bring home another animal for them to take care of.
Does Your Dog Want Another Dog?
Are you getting the new dog for you, or for your current dog? This is a big deal, because your current dog’s feelings should be paramount when you make the decision to take in a new sibling. Unfortunately we can’t “talk” to our dogs directly to ask their opinion. However, if you observe your dog carefully then you’ll have a good idea about whether the dog would like a friend. Is your dog often lonely when you aren’t home? Does the dog enjoy meeting other dogs at the dog park? Is the dog happy to share your affections with other people and pets? If you answered yes to all three questions, your dog is probably in a place where he or she will accept a new dog into the pack.
Should You Get a Puppy or an Adult Dog?
If you have decided to get a second dog, then you need to figure out if your family would do better with a puppy or an older dog. If you have a senior dog, a puppy may be a bit too overwhelming for the dog. Puppies have a lot of energy and will be dying to play with his older dog sibling, so if your current dog also had a lot of pep, they could be a great match. However, if your senior dog needs his rest and would prefer not to get too wild, an adult dog might suit him better.
What Dog Breed and Gender Should You Get?
Before adopting, make sure you consult with your vet or read up on what kind of dog will get along best with your family. Researchers say that dogs of opposite gender seem to work best together, since there is less jockeying over who gets to become “top dog.” There are also certain breeds who make great pals.
After you decide to adopt another dog, you should follow your veterinarian’s tips for introducing the two dogs to each other. How the dogs meet and learn to communicate is absolutely crucial, since it can be tough for dogs to get past their initial bad impression. As long as you aren’t in a rush and consider all the variables, your adoption should go smoothly.