Multi Dog Households
Are you considering adding a second dog to your household? This could be a good decision however it is one that should be made carefully. Here are some things to consider:
Your Current Dog: is your dog social and does he or she enjoy the company of other dogs? This should be your number one question when thinking of adding a second dog. If you have an aggressive dog or a dog that simply does not enjoy the company or other dogs, you probably should not get a second dog. However, if you have a shy dog, a second calm dog might help your current dog come out of its shell. If you have a playful, social dog then they will enjoy the company.
Personality: you want to try to match the personality of the new dog with your current dog and your lifestyle. A puppy might not always be the best companion for an older dog if that dog is arthritic or slow. If your older dog is still quite active, then a puppy might be a way for them to feel younger. If you have a high energy breed, adding another high energy dog would be a good match but keep in mind that you will now have to exercise and stimulate both dogs. They will not always entertain themselves.
Why do you want a second dog?
Consider the reason you want to add a another dog to your house. Is it to have a companion for your current dog, or is it to fix a problem with your current dog? Getting a second dog rarely solves issues like separation anxiety or bad habits. It is more likely that the new dog will pick up on the first dog’s habits. If you are actively working to resolve your dog’s problems, a second dog CAN sometimes aid in the process, provided that you also work on training the new dog.
Cost: remember that having two dogs means double the cost for food, vet bills and other expenses. Some vets offer a deal for owners with multiple pets but the costs still add up.
Bringing Home the Second Dog:
Research has shown that female/ female packs are the least likely to work out so that is another thing to keep in mind, however here at Doggie Playland, we have several owners with “sisters” and they have all worked out just fine. According to the statistics, Male/ female combinations are the best, followed, surprisingly, by two males.
Once you bring home your new dog, there are some rules you want to follow as it will be an adjustment for everyone in your household. Make sure you still give your first dog lots of love. Establish the ground rules of the home once again and make sure that they are followed by both dogs. Feed and treat your first dog before the new one and offer toys to both. Dogs usually work out the hierarchy between each other and quickly establish their way of co-habiting. Don’t expect your dogs to bond instantly because it is sometimes a process for both to form a bond. Don’t rush this important step as it is crucial for the dogs to figure it out for themselves.
Adding a new dog to the house can be an exciting experience if done correctly and there are lots of resources including a trainer that can help you with the process.