Is it Better to Have One or Two Dogs?

There may be several advantages to having two dogs in your home for both you and your pup! However, there are some things to think about before adding a second dog to your family. More information is available from our Sharpsburg vets.

Is It Better to Have One or Two Dogs?

By nature, dogs are social and thrive in group environments. Therefore, there are many advantages to adopting a second dog, such as:

  • They can keep each other company
  • Both dogs will be able to entertain each other and get exercise together
  • Your older dog could help you train a new puppy
  • When the dogs have each other, it can help ease separation anxiety
  • You will have two adorable dogs to love

While getting a second dog to keep your first dog company may be a good idea, it may not be an easy process at first. Your first dog may object to sharing their environment or toys. We'll go over some of the things you should think about when getting a second dog, as well as how to make the process go as smoothly as possible for everyone.

The Consequences of Adding a Second Dog to Your Home

Getting a second dog may cause your first dog to feel disoriented and uncertain. While most dogs will get along with their new sibling, your first dog may be unhappy about having to share their toys, space, territory, or even their owner's affection. This makes it critical to plan ahead of time and conduct thorough research before bringing home a second dog.

The Kind of Dog You Should Get

When getting a new puppy, it's critical to consider which breed will be best for your current dog and your family's lifestyle. As a result, you must ensure that you are doing more than just ticking off a few mental boxes. Consider the following factors:

  • What size of dog will work best for you and your family?
  • Can your home fit a second dog?
  • Will you have time to play with and care for another dog?
  • What are the exercise needs of your old dog and a new dog?
  • Can you afford to take care of a second dog?
  • Will your current dog be able to interact with a puppy, or will an older more calm dog be best?

By taking these points into consideration, you should be able to find a dog that will be a perfect addition to your family or determine if you are ready for a second dog. 

Ways to Help Your Old Dog and New Dog Get Along

If you've decided it's time to get a second dog, there are some steps you can take to make the process easier for everyone and help your two dogs get along as well as they can.

Talk to Your Family First

Deciding to bring a new dog into your home should take some time, and it's best to ask everyone in your home what they think about it and see if it meets everyone's needs, including your dog's! When deciding whether to get a new pet, you should consider your current dog's age, physical ability, and personality.

Don't Take Your Current Dog With You

We do not recommend bringing your current dog with you when selecting your new furry companion. When you are trying to make a decision, your dog may distract you, and the car ride may become very intense.

Introduce Your Dogs on Neutral Grounds

Bring your two dogs somewhere neutral when they meet to help prevent territorial aggression. You could have a friend or family member bring your current dog to a quiet park or green space, and then meet them there with your new puppy. If you already have more than one dog, you will require additional assistance or be able to control them all on a leash.

Keep Your Dogs Under control

While keeping full control of the dogs, make sure you are holding them loose enough on their leash that they don't feel too hampered by it.

Let the Dogs Get to Know Eachother

It is normal for dogs to circle and sniff each other when they meet. Keep this meeting upbeat by speaking to them in a pleasant tone. Keep an eye out for signs of aggression and intervene when necessary by redirecting their attention. If the dogs begin to growl or snarl, avoid scolding them because this will only teach them to suppress their emotions when you are nearby. You want them to establish a fair and secure social hierarchy even when you are not present.

Are your dogs ignoring each other? This is fine, don't force them to interact because they will get to know each other when they are ready. 

Bring Your Pups Home

You can bring your dogs home when they start acting positively with each other. 

Keep in mind that the two dogs will form a hierarchy, with your first dog typically serving as alpha. As a result, bring your current dog into the house first and have the person assisting you to walk your new dog on their leash. This allows your original dog to invite your new pup into their domain.

Limit Opportunites for Rivalry

Make sure each dog has their own food dish, water bowl, and bed. After mealtimes, pick up the food bowls to reduce the risk of food aggression, however, you can leave the water bowls out. 

Remember to bring your first dog's favorite toys and items with you to limit conflict while the new relationship develops. You can give the dogs their favorite toys back once you're sure they're getting along.

Remember to Supervise Playtime

We strongly advise keeping both dogs apart when you are not at home. When it comes time for them to play together, you must keep a close eye on them. Don't forget to compliment them when they interact well with one another.

It's imperative that you find time to spend quality one-on-one time with each dog every day so you can cement the personal bond you have with them

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you thinking about adopting a second dog? Contact our Sharpsburg vets today and schedule an appointment. Your veterinarian can let you know if they think your pooch will benefit from having a sibling and offer you tips on how you can make the process as stress-free as possible.