Having a dog is a wonderful experience for many people and the dog plays an important role in their life. They provide companionship and can share many fun experiences with their owners. In many cases, people consider their dogs as part of the family. If you enjoy having one dog, then you might consider welcoming a second dog into your family. However, before you make the commitment of getting a second pet, there are some things that you should take into consideration. Here are five important things you need to consider before deciding to get a second dog.
1. The Cost
Having a pet is a big financial commitment as there are a lot of costs attached to pet ownership. These include food, bedding, pet equipment, and vet’s bills. Some of these costs are one-off payments, such as buying a lead, collar, and a dog bed. However, there are other costs of having a dog that you will face in the long-term. Food is the most regular expenditure you will have as a dog owner as they need feeding every day. However, the biggest costs are the trips to the vet. Costs associated with the vet include vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and checkups. However, your dog may develop a health condition in the future that requires regular visits to the vet and medication. Remember, that while owning one dog is costly, it is even more expensive to own two dogs.
2. Compatibility with Your Other Dog
Your current dog should be one of your main considerations as the introduction of a new dog can affect them. Consider your dog’s personality traits, such as if they are sociable with other dogs when you take them for a walk. You should also think about their likes and dislikes and whether another dog is likely to share their interests. If you decide to get a second dog, it is important to introduce the two dogs carefully to cause as little stress as possible to the dogs. Don’t forget that first impressions count.
3. The Added Responsibility of a Second Dog
Having a second dog means double the commitment and you must think about whether you are prepared for this and willing to undertake the challenge. There are two dogs to feed, walk, clean up their dog mess, and take to the vet. Underestimating the added responsibility of a second pet is a common mistake that pet owners make. You must make sure you have enough time in your life to commit to this responsibility.
4. The Sex of the Dog
Another important consideration is the sex of the second dog. You need to decide whether you want a dog of the same sex or the opposite sex. Of course, if you have dogs of the opposite sex you will need to make sure they are spayed and neutered unless you are planning on breeding them. However, a male and female combination often works the best. Two male dogs will also usually get on after an initial battle for dominance. The worst combination is often two bitches as they are often aggressive with each other. The dogs are more likely to be compatible if they are the same sex as there is less of a battle for superiority.
5. Enough Space in Your Home
Something that people often forget when deciding whether to get a second dog is if they actually have space to accommodate the second dog. In part, this will depend on the size of the dog you have and the size of the new dog in addition to the size of your home. Two dogs running around may get under your feet while having them lying on furniture or across the floor may limit floor space for you to move around your home. You also need space for two dogs to have a bed or somewhere to sleep. Think about how much space your current dog takes up in your home and double this before making your final decision.
Although there are many things that you need to take into consideration before committing to a second dog, having two dogs in your home can be a wonderful experience and you may find that your dogs become the best of friends.