Dogs are great life companions and loyal friends that will stay by your side through thick and thin. They are so adorable, we sometimes find ourselves wanting to adopt every dog we see. However, if you already do have a loving pup at home and find yourself thinking of adding another fluffy member to the family, here’s what to consider before taking any further steps:
Is your dog emotionally fit for a new companion?
First, it’s important to make sure your dog is social and knows how to deal with other dogs and pets around them, especially ones that hang around for longer periods of time than others. Take your dog out to the park and have it interact with other pals, or visit a friend with dogs over and let it socialize. If you happen to find your dog a little aggressive towards other dogs, or just more of a loner altogether, you might want to reconsider the idea of bringing another pup home. However, if you still choose to adopt another, take your first dog to consultation first or set it up with a trainer that will work on its social skills in order to avoid any fights that might take place when its new roommate comes over.
What type of dog is most compatible with yours?
The second most important thing you should have in mind is your dog’s character and what type of dog would go well with it. For example, if your dog is stubborn and bossy, you wouldn’t want to adopt a dog with the same traits; it would cause a catastrophe and the two will start to compete. Find a pup with a matching personality to your furry friend – perhaps even let it pick the new dog. Take your pup to the shelter and find the one it gets along with.
Keep the size of your dog in mind. If you have a large breed, getting a small one probably wouldn’t be the best idea. Remember, the new dog is going to be best mates with your current dog and that includes playtime and activities. Big dogs can accidentally injure smaller canines due to the obvious size differences.
Are you capable of financing two dogs?
After checking how your dog may be affected by your decision and making sure that it is emotionally ready to welcome a new companion into your home, start considering your own position in all of this. Another dog means double the responsibilities, double the effort and of course, twice as many finances. There is dog food, vaccination, vet check ups and toys to put into your calculation.
Time also plays a big role in ensuring both your dogs would be getting enough attention, outdoor activity, and care. You’ll need to invest a lot of time training the new dog in following the house rules and getting to know it better while balancing your relationship with your first dog. Most people think that getting a new dog won’t be so difficult a task, assuming that the first dog would eventually train the other one and that they’ll somehow learn to alleviate one another with time. Sadly, this is as far from the truth as it can get. Dogs tend to learn obnoxious behaviors off one another and that means you might find your dog suddenly barking at random times or behaving inappropriately due to habits it picked off the new one. Therefore, both your dogs would still require individual training before they can exercise together. Each of them will also need to spend some time alone with you without the other. If you are a busy person who spends a lot of time at work, or out socializing, you might want to consider how this would affect the new dog who just changed homes and needs to yet familiarize itself with you and its surroundings.
Not to say that two dogs of the same sex living in one household wouldn’t work, but generally speaking, a male-female dog household would probably be more functional. Behavior consultants state that most dog aggressions towards others of the same kind happen when two female dogs reside in the same household. This kind of feud may turn into a nightmare for the owner and practically everyone living in the same home.
Age & health
Your dog’s age plays a huge role here. If your dog is old, or suffers from health issues, getting a young puppy wouldn’t be a very good idea. Young puppies are usually very hyper and that might disturb the older dog’s peace. A young dog would also keep pushing the older one to play all the time, as it will seek a companion, which could put your dog under a lot of stress.
Despite all the things there are to consider and think about, all the new responsibilities and worries, a two dog household can be truly fun and full of love. If your dog generally enjoys the company of others and gets along with dogs, you’re in for one active, fun and probably loud household with a family like no other.