A Quora user recently posted this question, and the responses have been heavily in favor of providing your pup with a pup. In theory, two dogs are certainly better than one. They keep each other company, play with each other when you’re feeling lazy, provide adorable photo ops, etc. Basically, if one dog is good, then two dogs are phenomenal, right?
Not necessarily. Depending on the age, lifestyle and personality of your current dog, he or she may not take kindly to sharing the spotlight. Also, while dogs can certainly divvy up some items like toys and beds, other costs, like food and veterinary care, will double. Is your family ready to cover the additional financial burden? Even if it means you’re family gets better-looking in the process?
While it is always going to be a personal choice based on what’s best for you and your pup, let’s weigh the pros and cons of dual dog ownership and see if we can answer this classic question:
1. A second dog will keep your pup company when you can’t be at home.
This one certainly seems like a “pro”, especially if you have a particularly social dog, or one prone to separation anxiety. Dogs are pack animals. They naturally crave company. (Just ask your lap.) Even if they aren’t interacting with their housemates every second, they take comfort in having that companionship and knowing their place within the hierarchy. Plus, the moments when they cuddle are priceless!
Problems arise when appropriate efforts are not made to ensure a good fit between the two pooches. If you add a second dog to your family without your current pup in mind, there could be conflicts. They don’t necessarily have to be the same breed, age or even a comparable size, but their activity levels and temperaments should be similar. Be sure to maintain your dog’s current schedule and provide equal attention and affection to both dogs in order to prevent jealousy.
The verdict: A pro — if done right.
2. Two dogs will amuse each other, giving you a break sometimes.
Our dogs would spend every second with us if possible. While their devotion is heartwarming, everyone needs a break sometimes. Like when you’re trying to do your taxes and your pup keeps dropping a filthy, slobber-covered tennis ball onto your stack of receipts. Not only will two dogs keep each other amused, but now they really are free to play like, well, dogs! They can nip, jump, roll, and romp together in a way that no human playmate could ever successfully imitate.
The verdict: Definitely a pro.
3. Two pups = twice the work.
Sure, having two dogs will spare you from full contact play sessions, but you still need to provide exercise and training to each dog. I currently have three dogs, and coordinating their morning walk can be quite the ordeal. One meanders slowly, sniffing each individual blade of grass; one needs to chase everything that moves (including leaves); and the third third pulls at her leash trying to grab at just about anything. Getting each pup properly trained is a big commitment, and you run the risk of one dog’s bad habits rubbing off on the new addition.
The verdict: Con.
4. Twice the dogs, twice the bills
Keeping our dogs healthy is a costly endeavor no matter how many you have. Providing the best diet, the safest products, and top notch veterinary care takes a toll on your wallet. Some vets offer price breaks on multi-pet visits, but overall, your investment will just about double if you add a new pooch to the pack.
The verdict: Con. (Less cash and all.)
5. It’s harder to plan a vacation.
Whether you choose a pet-sitter, a kennel or a luxury boarding facility, finding adequate care for two dogs is more difficult and more costly than it is for a single pup. I prefer to have someone stay at the house with our dogs when we leave town. I like the idea of their routine staying the same with a family member or trustworthy friend. But asking a pet-free loved one to take on 2 dogs for the week is a big favor to ask! Even if you are paying for a professional sitter, you’ll worry twice as much when you have to leave two dogs behind instead of one.
The verdict: Con.
6. Double the dogs = Double the love.
While perusing through the Quora feed, I came across one user who listed only two pros as opposed to four cons of double dog ownership. He pointed out the difficulty of walking two pups, never knowing who tore up the pillow or ate the brownies, and of course, the increased cost. However, he still strongly recommended getting a pooch for your pooch, and expressed his undying love for his own two Labs.
That might seem a little strange to non-pawrents, but to all us dog lovers it makes perfect sense. The messes, noises, responsibilities, and costs may all double when you add a second dog to the family, but so does the love. And in the grand scheme of things, it’s the love that matters most.