What do I need to know about adopting a second dog? Tips and Tricks

How will your current dog feel?

Many people get a second dog to keep the first dog company. They worry that their dog may be lonely when left alone. While this is a legitimate concern, it should not be the sole determining factor when considering the addition of another pet to the family. Dogs are inherently social animals that live well together in groups, but that does not mean that all dogs get along.

Most dogs will welcome a new sibling, but it is not always smooth sailing. The furry family member you have now will face many changes when a new dog enters the picture and may feel a bit displaced. He may not like sharing his territory, toys, food, resting places, or humans. Luckily, you can help him adjust to his new companion if you prepare in advance.

What kind of dog should you get?

Before choosing a new dog, think about what type will fit in with your existing family members – both two and four-legged. Does your home and yard have space for another dog? Do you have a large or small dog, and do you want to add a large or small dog? Do you have time to walk, feed, and play with another dog? Can you afford the additional expense of caring for another pet? Is your current dog physically able to interact with a pup or would an older, calmer dog be a better canine friend?

The Cons of Adding a New Dog to Your Family:

  • You’ll have to invest more time with your canines. A new dog will require a lot of your time. And this includes time spent acclimating, raising, training, exercising, feeding, bathing, and playing with your new pooch. Time, time, time.
  • Adding a new dog will require tons of energy. Your routine will be changed, and you will have to allot more of your energy toward a second dog.
  • A new dog will create more expenses. You gotta have that kibble money, you know?
  • Your new dog will require a significant emotional investment. You’ll have to invest a ton of emotional energy into your new dog, so be sure you have enough to spare. And this not only means happy emotions — you’ll also have to deal with the frustration, sadness, and occasional guilt that comes along with dog ownership.
  • A second dog will increase the noise level in your home. The more dogs you add to your pack, the nosier it gets. If you’re particularly fond of your quiet life, keep the noise factor in mind.
  • You’ll have to clean more. If one dog sheds enough to fill a bucket, then two will fill a wheelbarrow. The more dogs you add to the house, even low-shedding breeds, the more mud, dandruff, slobber, yard debris, and dead squirrels you’ll have in the house. Okay, maybe not the squirrels, unless your dogs are particularly good at hunting! But you get the point.
  • What do I need to know about adopting a second dog?