For many dog lovers, one is not enough! But before you decide to adopt another dog, Richard and Vicki Horowitz of Bark Busters break down the pros and cons.
What are some of the advantages of having another dog in the house?
-The dog will have a friend/playmate.
-You will receive double the kisses.
-More family members can make the ‘pack’ feel more secure and protected.
-Having a companion may reduce a dog’s separation anxiety.
-Many times dogs are just happier and better behaved with a fellow canine.
What are the disadvantages?
-They will each need to be trained individually before they are trained together. It is better to be happy with the behavior of a first dog before adding the second.
-Don’t look to the first dog to necessarily teach the second dog good habits.
-The costs associated with a dog — food, vet bills, dog toys, etc. — will be double.
-They will both need personalized, individual attention from you.
-There may be sibling rivalry and jealousy issues.
What else needs to be considered?
Introducing another dog into your family can be chaotic to a family’s routine, particularly if the first dog doesn’t like other dogs. Know that it is instinctual for the dogs to compete to see who is first in the pecking order, which is why it is so important you establish yourself as the pack leader. Certainly there are proper ways to successfully accomplish the introduction.
An important question to ask yourself is: what kind of dog does my dog like? Who does he/she tend to socialize with the best? Does he/she get along better with male or female dogs? If one dog is older and the new dog is a puppy, it might not be fair to either of them. The old dog may just want to live in peace in his older years, while a puppy will want to play. However, old dogs can often be re-vitalized by the introduction of a puppy. Making sure that the dogs’ personalities or temperaments are a good ‘fit’ for one another is your first step to a harmonious multiple dog home.
Although multiple dogs may create an additional workload, it can also be increase the fun!