Should I Get a Second dog? When's the right time?

Should I Get a Second dog? When's the right time?

Author WDF Staff


If you’re thinking about getting a second dog, you probably need a bit of help with making such a huge decision. You already know how awesome it is to share your life with a dog, so it is no wonder you’re thinking about getting a second one. However, there are different things to consider before you make the final decision.

Many dog owners don’t know what the optimal time for getting a second dog is. Picking the right time can be tricky, but if you know the answers to the questions we will ask you, you might be ready for a second dog. Here are the most critical questions you need to answer before you get a second dog;

1. What kind of a dog should I get?

The first answer you need to know is what kind of a dog you should bring home. You need to consider how energetic your current dog is and make sure your new dog will have similar energy. The best way to ensure dogs become great companions is to get a second dog that can keep up with the first dog’s pace. Having a large, lazy Mastiff and bringing in an energetic Border Collie puppy might not be the ideal solution.

two bernese-mountain-dogs

2. Should I get a second dog if I have other things to do?

You will always have other things to do, like going to work, taking care of the kids, or simply running chores we all must do. However, this question primarily regards large, life-altering projects. If you’re renovating your home, moving, or you’re switching jobs, the timing might not be right. Taking care of a new puppy takes time and energy. Your dog is an adult now, so you might have forgotten how many resources a puppy needs.

3. Do I have a budget for a second dog?

Not many of us feel comfortable talking about this, but it is a topic we need to discuss - money. A second dog will make a bigger dent in your budget. You have to make sure you have a budget that can support two dogs. You will need double of everything; two vet visits, two shots, two leashes, bowls, dog food… If you’re having financial issues or your budget can’t handle a second dog, give yourself some time until the situation changes. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you have to choose which dog you must give up because you can’t financially support them both.

two dogues

4. Can my dog handle a second dog?

You have to think about the dog that already lives with you. Are they social? How do they behave around puppies you meet in the park? These are all of the things you need to be sure of. Some owners decide to take a second dog to cheer up their first dog. However, that is a bad decision. A scared or anxious dog can transfer their issues to the new dog, so you can quickly end up with two problematic dogs. Also, your current dog needs to be fully trained and see you as the leader. Another common issues dog owners that take two dogs of similar age face is called the littermate syndrome. You want to avoid that under all circumstances.

5. Is my family ready for a second dog?

Single dog owners need to decide for themselves if they’re ready for a second dog. However, dog owners with families need to talk to them first. You need to make sure your family is on board with your decision to take on additional responsibilities. A second dog means more walking, more playing, cleaning, feeding, etc. If you have a family, talk to them and see where they stand. It would be great if everyone would pitch in and help you take care of the dog.

two dachshund

6. Do I have what it takes to get a second dog?

This is not a question that aims to challenge your competence. It is a question that should make you think about the logistics of owning a second dog. First, you need to have enough space to accommodate a second dog. Do you have enough room for a second crate, bed, bowls, and plenty of storage space your second dog needs? If you live in an apartment, that might be tricky. Think about transportation. If you’re going on a trip, will your two dogs fit in your car? Will your two dogs and your family fit in the car? The dog is not the only cost you might have. There are logistical things you need to consider before you get a second dog.

7. Do you have what it takes to train a second dog?

This is the question that should make you think about your training skills, patience, and commitment to your second dog. You already trained one puppy, so you know how frustrating, slow, and tiring it can be. You have to be honest with yourself and see if you have in you what it takes to train a second dog. Mind you, we all learn from our mistakes, so you have an advantage when it comes to your second dog - you already went through it. This should be a relatively easy question to answer. Think about training your first dog and simply be honest with yourself. Can you go through all of it again?

two jack russells

In conclusion

Getting a second dog can be absolutely amazing. We can tell you that from personal experience. We live in a home with multiple dogs. If you get everything right, you will get double the snuggles, love, entertainment, and companionship. Dogs are amazing, but a second dog will require you to think about different things in your life. If you answer these questions honestly and like what you hear, you can be sure you’re ready to get a second dog.

World Dog Finder team

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