Pros and Cons of Getting a Second Dog

BY | June 01 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
Pros and Cons of Getting a Second Dog


My husband and I talk about it all the time: should we get a second dog?! We love our dog

Wade

and we often wonder if getting a second dog would make his life better (and our life better, too!) Of course, there will always be pros and cons, whether youโ€™re talking about

getting a pet for the first time or thinking about adding another furball to the family

. Our minds arenโ€™t made up yet, which inspired me to put some pros and cons on paper. Letโ€™s take a look!

Pros of Getting a Second Dog

Youโ€™ll Have Another Dog!

Call me Captain Obvious, but if youโ€™re already a dog lover (like I am), the prospect of adding another fuzzy face to the picture is sure to fill your heart with joy. Do you love the pitter patter of little paws around the house? What about a fluffy head on your lap while you read? Think about all of those wonderful things -- then multiply them by two!

Your Dog Will Have a Companion

Human companionship is great, but thereโ€™s nothing quite like another dog when it comes to Fidoโ€™s friendships. Your dog will have someone to play with, someone to explore with, and someone to sleep with (aww). Having another dog to pal around with may keep your dog from getting bored when youโ€™re out of the house or distracted at home. And if the new dog that you bring home is confident, it may help to bolster your original dogโ€™s confidence, thus improving their overall

behavior.RELATED STORY: Is My Dog Weird? 5 Strange Dog Behaviors Explained

A Second Dog May Make Losing a Dog Easier

Itโ€™s something that most pet parents donโ€™t want to think about, but at some point every dog will pass on

, and having another around may help to ease the emotional burden when the time comes. No dog will ever be able to replace another dog, of course, but a second dog may offer comfort and companionship while you go through the

grieving process.

Cons of Getting a Second Dog

Double Your Expenses

This is perhaps the biggest reason why pet parents nix the idea of adding a second pet. Expect to double your expenses when it comes to veterinary care

,

medicine

,

food, supplies

,

boarding, dog walkersโ€ฆ you get the idea. While many boarders offer deals for multiple dogs and you can purchase foods and supplies in bulk, at the end of the day youโ€™re still looking at more spending.

Travel Can Be Tricky

If you like toย take your dog everywhere

with you, youโ€™ll have to get used to the idea that many public places allow one dog, but not two, and that getting two

crates into the car can be a bigger hassle than assembling just one. In addition, as mentioned above, boarding two dogs will cost more than boarding one. If youโ€™re a real jetsetter, this may be an important point to consider.RELATED STORY: What Are the Best Dogs to Travel With?

Itโ€™s Possible That They Wonโ€™t Get Along

Yep, itโ€™s true, and Iโ€™ve seen it happen. The best way to avoid this situation is to make sure that both dogs are well-trained

and free of behavioral issues, such as

anxiety, fear

, or

aggression. Behavioral issues can not only cause tension between the dogs, they can also spread from one dog to another (so if your first dog wasnโ€™t aggressive, they might become aggressive if you add a second dog who is).Youโ€™ll want to introduce the dogs slowly; donโ€™t just toss them in the same room together. Let them get to know each first other on loose leashes

(a tense leash can stress a dog out), and then through a barrier like a baby gate. Donโ€™t force interactions, but do allow the dogs to

sniff and introduce themselves. Look for signs of tension or aggression, such as growling and stiff postures. Once the dogs arenโ€™t engaging in greeting behaviors (such as sniffing) anymore, and you donโ€™t see any signs of fearful or threatening behavior, you should be good to go.**Note: this is just a brief explanation of how to introduce two dogs for the first time; itโ€™s always a good idea to consult a trainer before actually trying it yourself.So what do you think? Should we get another dog? Leave a comment and let us know, and consider signing up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.
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