You may be thrilled with the companionship of your dog but worry whether he or she is lonely during the day. Or you might just want another dog for yourself for various reasons. In my experience and from talking to many others, there are pros and cons to having one dog or two. Some people have a whole pack of dogs (lucky them!).
There is no straight forward answer to which is best but in this article I will discuss a few things that I would consider.
1. Age Gap
The first thing that I would consider is the age gap. I would space the dogs apart by at least two years if it were me. This gives you time to train the first dog to a reasonable level before introducing the second dog. When a puppy comes along, you need to spend a lot of time training him or her. If the existing dog has bad habits, the new dog or pup can pick them up easily too. This can also apply older dogs if you are adopting an adult.
2. Vet Bills
Another thing to consider is vet bills. Any long term health issues like joint problems or allergies are likely to come up within the first year or two of life. Also if you have two young dogs together, you will also have two older dogs together which means more vet bills together, and the heartache of losing two dogs close together.
3. Dog Supervision
If you get a puppy, the puppy and the older dog will need supervision and shouldn’t be left unsupervised to play for the first few weeks. Puppies get tired quickly and need their sleep – if your existing dog wants to play continually with the puppy, the puppy will get exhausted and even sick. You also want to make sure your existing dog and new puppy or adult dog get along well together. It may take some time for them to get to know each other. Just like people, not all dogs automatically like each other – but dogs don’t get much choice in the other dogs they live with.
Yes, a second dog can be great for company but that can also work against you with training because your dogs can see each other as their best friend rather than you, and would rather be with the other dog than with you training. It may be best to concentrate on raising one dog and spend a lot of time training that dog to look to you as the best reward there is. That way, you can make sure the level of training is where you want it before considering doing it all over again.
These are some of the main things to consider when thinking of whether to get another dog. Training is very important and you can’t train two dogs at once so when you have two dogs its twice the work and almost twice the time. To be fair to the dogs, you should make sure you can make this time commitment before bringing another dog home. With all dogs, make sure you do your breed research thoroughly and take your time.
Never rush into such an important decision.
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