Are you ready for a two dog household? Here’s what you need to know
Dogs are a social bunch. As much as they enjoy hanging out with us two-legged creatures, it’s nice for them to have a furry friend of their own when we’re not around to keep them company.
Ask yourself the all-important question: WHY?
Adding a second dog to your household is a hefty decision and it’s important that you’re making it for the right reasons.
Before you visit the SPCA, meet with credible dog breeders or take a newborn litter of puppies off a friend’s hands; ask yourself why. Why are you intent on introducing a new dog into your home?
Are any of the following reasons behind your decision?
- Your family are pushing for a new dog even though you don’t want one: Who is going to take responsibility for the dog? If you already have a precious pooch and introducing a new dog isn’t something you’re keen on, put your familial foot down and just say no.
- You’ve got an anxious pup: If your dog is nervous and scares easily, setting them up with a second pooch may not be the calming solution you’d hoped for. Pairing an anxious pup with a new dog could potentially result in two anxious dogs, and not the other way around.
- Your dog is aggressive: Introducing a new dog to your family in the hopes that they’ll teach the current one how to behave is neither smart nor safe. If you want to dispel your pup’s hostility, seek professional help before bringing an innocent pooch into the mix.
Breaking the ice
Prior to adding a second dog to your household, think about how it could affect you, your family and your current pup.
Have you considered the cost? Adding a second dog to the family is going to have a serious impact on finances. More food, more vet bills, more toys, more treats. Figure out what the budget for a two dog household looks like and if it’s not achievable for you, let that pup be someone else’s pal.
Consider the breed and age of dog you should get. Ensure that the second dog you want to welcome into your family is compatible with the breed and age of your current pup.
4 tips on a smooth transition into a two dog household
1. When pick-up time comes, leave your current pooch at home
Introducing a new dog to a new environment and the current dog to a new playmate is overwhelming enough – no point prompting any further stress.
2. Introduce your new pals on neutral ground
Take them out to a park or another neutral location to reduce any potential territorial behaviour. With each on a leash and each having their own handler, give your two canines time to inspect one another.
3. Remove rivalry from the equation
Adding a second dog means making sure that each have their own bowl, their own bed, their own toys and so on. If you reduce the risk of them being territorial, they are more likely to accept one another sooner.
4. Supervise, supervise, supervise
Always keep an eye on the two of them while they are still getting to know each other. Monitor everything they do – playtime, mealtime, walks and bedtime.
If you’re home is transitioning into a two dog household, remember that the most important thing (as always!) is to give each pup all of the love, time and affection that you can. They will both love you for it!