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Is It Better to Have Two Dogs?

Owning two dogs in your home can have several benefits for both you and your furry companions. However, before adding a second dog to your family, there are some important factors that you should consider. Our vets in Oak Grove can provide more information and guidance on this matter.

Are Two Dogs Better Than One

By nature, dogs are social and thrive in group environments. Therefore, there are many advantages to adopting a second dog, such as:

  • They can keep each other company
  • Both dogs will be able to entertain each other and get exercise together
  • Your older dog could help you train a new puppy
  • When the dogs have each other, it can help ease separation anxiety
  • You will have two adorable dogs to love

Getting a second dog to keep your first dog company can be tempting, but introducing a new dog to the household may not be smooth. Your first dog may not appreciate having to share your space and belongings. In the following discussion, we will examine some important factors to consider when bringing a second dog into your home and offer tips to make the process as stress-free as possible for everyone involved.

The Consequences of Adding another Canine to Your Household

If you're thinking of getting another dog, it's important to remember that your first dog may not be enthusiastic about the idea. While many dogs will get along well with a new furry sibling, some may feel uncertain and displaced. Sharing toys, space, territory, and even your attention can be a challenge for some dogs. Therefore, it's essential to research and prepare before bringing home a second dog.

The Kind of Dog You Should Get

When getting another pup, it's important to determine which type of dog will be best for your current dog and your family's lifestyle. For this reason, you must ensure you are doing more than just checking off a couple of mental boxes. You need to consider factors such as:

  • What size of dog will work best for you and your family?
  • Can your home fit a second dog?
  • Will you have time to play with and care for another dog?
  • What are the exercise needs of your old dog and new dog?
  • Can you afford to take care of a second dog?
  • Will your current dog be able to interact with a puppy, or will an older, more calm dog be best?

Considering these points, you should be able to find a dog that will be a perfect addition to your family or determine if you are ready for a second dog. 

Ways to Help Your Old Dog and New Dog Get Along

If you're considering adding a second dog to your family, there are steps you can take to ensure a smooth process and help your dogs get along well.

Talk to Your Family First

It's important to take your time when bringing a new dog home. It's best to consult with everyone in your home and ensure the new pet meets everyone's needs, including your current dog's! Consider your dog's age, physical ability, and personality when determining whether or not to bring home a new pet.

Don't Take Your Current Dog With You

It is not advisable to take your current dog with you when choosing a new furry companion. While deciding, your dog may divert your attention, and the car ride could become very stressful.

Introduce Your Dogs on Neutral Grounds

If you are planning to introduce your two dogs, it is recommended to choose a neutral location to avoid territorial aggression. You can ask a friend or family member to bring your existing dog to a calm park or green space, and you can meet them there with your new pup. If you already have more than one dog, you should seek additional help or be able to manage all of them with a leash.

Keep Your Dogs Under Control

While keeping complete control of the dogs, ensure you hold them loose enough on their leash that they don't feel too hampered by it.

Let the Dogs Get to Know Eachother

When dogs first meet, it's normal for them to circle and sniff each other. It's important to keep the meeting positive by using a pleasant tone while talking to them. Keep an eye out for signs of aggression and intervene if necessary by redirecting their attention. If the dogs start growling or snarling, try not to scold them, as this will only teach them to suppress their emotions in your presence. They need to establish a fair social hierarchy that is safe, even when you're not around. 

If multiple dogs ignore each other, don't force them to interact. They will get to know each other when they're ready.

Bring Your Pups Home

You can bring your dogs home when they start acting positively with each other. 

Remember that the two dogs will form a hierarchy, with your first dog typically taking the alpha position. For this reason, you should bring your current dog into the home first and have the person helping you walk your new dog on its leash. This allows your original dog to invite your new pup into its domain.

Limit Opportunites for Rivalry

It is important to ensure each dog has its own food dish, water bowl, and bed. After mealtimes, picking up the food bowls is advisable to reduce the risk of food aggression. However, you can leave the water bowls out. 

Remember to remove your first dog's favorite toys and items to limit conflict while the new relationship develops. Once you know the dogs are getting along, you may return their favorite toys.

Remember to Supervise Playtime

When you're not at home, keeping both dogs separated is highly recommended. Ensure close supervision when allowing them to play together. Additionally, don't forget to praise them when they interact nicely with each other. Spending quality one-on-one time with each dog daily is essential to building a strong personal bond.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you considering one dog vs two dogs? Call our vets in Oak Grove if you have further questions and want to know about local adopting from a shelter.

We Are Always Welcoming New Patients

Oak Grove Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our veterinarians are passionate about animal health and are proud to serve our patients. Contact us today to book your pet's first appointment and to get started.

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