So you did it once, and now you feel you’re ready for it again. Since we are spending more time with our furry friend because of the lockdown, adopting a second dog may be suitable for your family. But, are you ready for a second dog? Let’s find out.
Are You Ready For A Second Dog? – 6 Ways To Find Out
You already know what it’s like to raise a dog because you’ve already done it once. But don’t get too confident, because it may not be as easy when your first dog is also in the mix. Here are some things you need to ask yourself before you bring home your second dog.
1. Are You Ready To Do It All Over Again?
Your second dog may learn a few things faster because you are more experienced, and they will also learn some rules from your existing dog, but it is still not going to be easy.
2. Is Your Family Okay With It?
Taking care of two dogs is not easy, and you will most likely need all the help you can get from your family. But they will only help if they are on board with the idea.
The last thing you want to do is bring a dog against your family’s will and have no one to help you with two dogs.
When everyone is on board and are willing to help, having a second dog is much more comfortable.
3. Is Your Dog On Board?
Your dog’s approval is perhaps the most important here. If your entire family is okay with a second dog, but your dog is not, you may have to drop the plan altogether.
Both your dogs will spend maximum time together, and if they don’t get along or if one dog bullies the other dog, it may become very stressful for both of them.
The home that is meant to provide a sense of safety and security will, in this case, cause dread. So your dog’s opinion is critical. Only get a second dog if your first dog is friendly and accepting of other dogs.
You should also let your first dog meet your second dog first in a neutral environment to know if they get along. If either of the dogs snarls, or show any guarding behaviours, you should adopt another dog. The main goal of this exercise is to find a dog that gets along with your dog to avoid problems in the future.
4. Do You Have Enough Budget?
Remember that when you get a second dog, all your costs automatically doubles. Calculate your existing costs of having a dog and double it (we’d say triple it for good measure). Do you have that much money to spare for a second dog?
Your budget is essential because the last thing you want to do is compromise on their well being. After all, you don’t have the budget.
5. Do You Have Enough Time For Both Of Them?
With two dogs comes double the responsibility. You may train your dogs individually, but you will also have to teach them together so that they don’t misbehave in public or with guests in the house.
Both your dogs can gang up and make mischief around the house so you may have to go over the basics with your existing dog.
You may also have to walk them separately at least until they learn to behave together when they are on a leash.
They may also need training during feeding times, or be fed separately so that one dog does not bully the other.
Additionally, both dogs have individual grooming needs – brushing, nail clipping, teeth cleaning, bathing, etc. All of this takes a lot of time – more time than you may be able to give. So, make sure you have the time for both dogs.
6. Do You Have Enough Space?
It’s a no brainer but – two dogs take more space than one. If you want to crate them or buy dog beds, you should have enough space for both dogs to have their own space.
A dog may not run a whole lot in the house, but when they have a playmate, you can expect a lot more running and playing. Do you have enough space for that? Only get a dog if you have space for them to play around.
Do NOT Get A Dog For The Following Reasons:
We are sure that your decision to get a second dog is well-intentioned, but sometimes we bring home a second dog with a preconceived notion of an expectation. When that expectation is shattered, it becomes overwhelming for us.
The reasons below may not be the best reasons for a second dog simply because the stem from the belief that bringing a second dog will make your life easier – which it won’t.
Some dog owners get a second dog for the below reasons and have to abandon their second (or first) dog because of it.
Don’t get a second dog because:
1. Your First Dog Is Lonely, And You Want To Bring Them A Friend
Working for long hours can take a toll on your dog. Some breeds are prone to separation anxiety and bring them another dog will not help.
Studies have shown that dogs are more attached to people than with other dogs. So, if your second dog has separation anxiety, bringing a second dog may not make a difference to their stress levels.
Your second dog may pick up the anxious energies from the first dog and become anxious too. So, instead of curing separation anxiety, you may have two anxious dogs to deal with when you get home.
We all know what anxious dogs do when they are home alone – make a mess. Be prepared to clean double the mess after a long day at work.
2. Your Kids Want To Play With A New Puppy
It’s true that just like humans, dogs also become less active as they grow older. You or other family members, especially the kids, may want a second dog because your existing dog does not play as much.
It is always exciting to bring home a puppy, but after the excitement fades away, you are left with double the responsibility.
As in the case of kids, we can’t expect them to take all the responsibilities of a new dog, so you need to be ready to double the duties.
3. You Want Your Dog To Workout Without Taking Them On Walks
This runs in line with the first reason. You can’t give your dog all the time you want, so you plan to bring home another dog thinking that they will stay busy with each other and will not need as many walks.
Well, remember that if you’re their favourite person, bringing another dog will not substitute you. While they can play more with another dog around, it does not mean that they don’t need walks anymore.
In fact, after bringing a second dog, you will have to walk two dogs instead of one. Initially, you may have to walk your dogs separately to teach the new one how to walk on a leash. This means that you may have to go on 4 walks at a time instead of 2.
4. Your Dog Is Mourning The Death Of Your Other Dog
Just like humans, dogs can mourn the loss of a loved one. We understand that bringing a second dog is well-intentioned, and while you can consider it in the future, you must give your dog time to mourn.
A new dog will not replace your old dog, and your dog may not love or trust them the same way as they loved and trusted your previous dog. It would be best to wait a healthy amount of time before you bring another dog.
Make sure you bring a dog only because you want to do it all over again and because you know you can handle it.
Those who think that bringing a second dog will reduce their work are in for a surprise because two dogs mean double the work.
Are You Planning To Adopt?
Most shelters in India are full of dogs that need a home, and they will love to find a forever home. Adoption also allows you to introduce your dog or foster dogs to find a perfect furry friend for your home.
Adopted dogs are also vaccinated and sterilised, which means that you won’t have to invest in it later. In India, most adoptions are free of cost, but it is just as fulfilling if not more.
We urge all our readers to adopt because when you do adopt, you save two lives instead of one – yours and your dogs.
We hope you found this article helpful. Are you planning to adopt a second dog? How many dogs do you have in your family, and when did you know it was the perfect time to welcome a second member? Let us know in the comments section below. We are always eager to hear your thoughts.