Being a dog parent is amazing. It’s fun, it’s rewarding, it’s exciting. There’s never a dull moment when you have a pup running around your house!
But after having your four-legged friend around for some time, you might start to think “having one dog is great...but would two dogs be even better?”
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to whether you should get another dog; it’s a great idea for some people and a not-so-great idea for others. Adding a second dog to your family is a big decision—and you want to make sure you (and your pup!) are ready before you add another pup into the equation.
But how, exactly, do you know whether getting another dog is the right move for your family? How do you know when you’re ready for a second dog?
Understand The Pros And Cons Of Getting A Second Dog
Before we jump into how to determine if you’re ready for a second dog, let’s quickly cover some of the potential pros and cons of expanding your canine family.
Some of the major benefits of getting a second dog include:
- Your dog will always have company. As much as you love your dog, there are times you’re going to have to leave them at home—and that can get lonely for your pup. Adding a second dog to your family ensures your pup always has another four-legged pal to keep them company—and to keep loneliness at bay.
- Two dogs will tire each other out (giving you a much needed break). Dogs are full of fun-loving energy. And while you love that energy most of the time, there are going to be times (for example, when you’re sick or exhausted) that you need a break from all the running, playing, and general dog-related hijinks. When you have two dogs, they can play together, keep each other entertained, chase each other around the house...basically, they can tire each other out—perfect for when you need a break from all the puppy energy.
- Twice the dogs, twice the love. Loving a dog—and having a dog love you—is one of the most amazing feelings in the world. And when you have two dogs, you get double the love—and it’s doubly amazing!
But adding a second dog into the mix isn’t all sunshine and rainbows; there can also be some drawbacks. Some potential cons of getting a second dog include:
- Twice the dogs, twice the work. When you have two dogs, that means you have to feed two dogs, walk two dogs, clean up after two dogs. Or, in other words, when you double the number of dogs in your home, you also double the amount of work.
- Twice the dogs, twice the bills. Same thing goes for bills! When you have two dogs, you have to buy twice as much food, pay twice the amount in vet bills, pay for double the number of training sessions...basically, everything costs twice as much. And all those dog-related costs can put a serious dent in your budget.
- Vacation planning gets a lot more complicated. Finding someone to take care of your dog when you have to go out of town is hard enough. But finding someone to watch two dogs while you’re on vacation? That’s even tougher.
Just like any other decision, there are pros and cons to getting a second dog—and it’s important to understand them before you decide whether you’re ready to add another pup to your family.
How To Determine If You’re Ready For A Second Dog
Understanding the pros and cons of getting a second dog is important. But if you’re seriously considering adding another dog to your family? There are a few other things you’ll want to consider before making a decision.
Here are six ways to tell if you’re ready for a second dog:
1. Everyone in your household—human and canine—is on board.
It’s great that you want a second dog. But if anyone else in your household objects—human or canine—it’s probably not a good idea.
Before you decide whether a second dog is right for you, talk to the other people in your household and make sure everyone’s on board. Having two dogs is a lot of responsibility—and if not everyone agrees, it can feel like a burden (which isn’t fair to you or the dog).
It’s also important to consider how your dog will feel about throwing another canine into the mix. If your pup doesn’t like sharing the spotlight or has a history of being less-than-enthusiastic about other dogs, adding another pup into the mix is probably not the right move.
2. You have the financial means to support a second dog.
Like we mentioned earlier, twice the dogs means twice the cost. Before you add a second dog to your family, it’s important to look at your budget. Do you have enough money to cover food, medical bills, and training for two dogs? Are you willing to cut back in other areas (like eating out or going out to the movies) to free up budget to care for your new pup? If the answer to those questions is no, don’t get another dog.
3. You have plenty of time and energy to dedicate to your pups.
Being a dog parent takes a lot of time and energy. But being a dog parent to two pups? That’s an even bigger commitment.
Adding a new dog to the family is an adjustment. And both your current dog and your new dog will need plenty of love, time, and attention to make that transition a smooth one. If you’re pressed for time, have a hectic schedule, or just don’t want to devote most of your free time and energy to the new dog transition? It’s best to stay a one dog household.
4. You have space for two dogs.
Two dogs take up more space than one. Before you add another dog into the mix, you need to make sure you have the space to accommodate them.
Is your home big enough for two dogs to share space without being on top of each other? Is your car large enough to transport both pups safely and comfortably? If your dog likes to cuddle in your bed, do you have space by your pillow for another pup? Two dogs require a lot of space—so much sure you have it before you get another dog.
5. You’re willing to train your new dog.
If you want your new dog to fit in seamlessly into your family and your life, you’ll need to train them. If you’re not willing to put the time and energy into proper training, you’re not ready for a second dog.
6. You have the green light to add a second dog to the household.
If you’re a renter, there might be a limit to how many pets you can have in the household. Before you bring home another dog, it’s important to check with your landlord and make sure you have the green light to add a second dog to your family.
Ready for a second dog? Adopt, don’t shop!
If you do decide you’re ready for a second dog, consider adopting a pup from a local shelter or rescue. There are so many dogs out there that need a loving home. And if you’re willing and ready to add another dog to your family, you can be the person to provide it!