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3 Things to Consider Before Getting a Second Dog


Written by Farah Al-Khojai the managing partner in the Pet’s Delight Website.

There are 3 Things to consider before getting a second dog. Being a dog owner is a whole new level of fulfillment in itself. This is why it is only natural for someone who has successfully adapted to life with a canine to want to have a second dog.

If this is true for you, you might have dreamed about having Instagram-worthy cuddle sessions with your newly expanded fur family after bringing home a new pup. The doggie “siblings” bond instantly, and voila! Your family is complete

But hold your horses — there’s a lot more to adopting a second dog than you might think. In fact, it may not be as easy as the first time a furry pal came to your life.

Remember that welcoming a second dog into an already-established pack is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. So, before you start shopping online for another dog tag, you must first take the time to consider what will happen when you do choose to bring home a second pup.

To help you out, this article tackles the three most important things you must consider and expect before a second dog comes into the picture.

#1. How Your First Dog Will React

While you and other humans in your household may be over the moon about having a second pup, you must first consider how your resident canine would feel about it.

Remember that there is no single scenario that applies to every dog owner. While it may be a great idea for some people, it may not work for others. Most of the time, the most difficult part of adopting a second dog revolves around how the first one will respond to the change.

If you consider your pet as a member of your family, you must think about how a new “sibling” pup can affect his quality of life. Before signing those adoption papers, observe how your dog reacts around others of his kind. Does he enjoy their company, or is he more inclined to spend time alone?

It would also help to check what his interactions with other dogs are usually like. This will allow you to predict how or whether he can cope with the change.

Keep in mind that your canine pal may already be content with the way things are. Shaking things up with a new puppy who would share his eating and sleeping areas – not to mention, change his routine – may not cut it for him.

So, before you proceed with adopting a puppy, determine if your dog can deal with the extra “excitement” around the house. Often, adult dogs tend to get annoyed with pups, so you may be in for a bit of growling once you introduce the little one.

Of course, every household is as different as the people and pets living in it. Only you can decide whether having a second dog is good for your family.

#2 How much time you can spare for the new furry family member

Another major consideration you should think about before adopting another dog is your time. Be honest with yourself and take a long, hard look at your current schedule to see whether you can set aside enough time to train, assimilate, and show your love for a new puppy without ending up neglecting your older pet.

Unlike what some people think, having a second pet won’t free up your time. While he may be able to serve as a playmate that can help for your first dog to blow off steam, you still need to take care of both of the animals. This means that two canine pets would require double your time and energy.

Sure, you can easily choose a dog food delivery service to conveniently bring your pet food supply straight to your doorstep, but your dogs cannot open those cans and bags by themselves. You’ll still have to take care of feeding them.

Another time-related matter you need to think about before getting a new dog is whether you have any major changes or life events coming up. Whether it’s a new job, a move, a new baby, or a significant project, these things can eat up your time, so it would be best to postpone the pet adoption for when things get back to normal.

#3 How you can help them get along

Helping two dogs get along – especially if they are at different ages – can be a bit challenging. This means that if you’re bringing home a younger pup, your first dog might find his giddiness and playfulness annoying.

Aside from staying in the same room they are in during the first few days following their first meeting, you should also consider the following tips when introducing a second pup to your old dog:

Introduce them in a neutral space

Although you might want your dogs to meet at home, it would be best to conduct the introduction on neutral ground, like at the park or in a fenced lot. This will help prevent your first canine pet from feeling like his turf is being invaded.

Use positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a great way to make the experience of meeting “sibling” dogs a good one. There’s no better time for your furry babies to start having positive experiences with each other than during their introduction.

Allow them to sniff and greet each other as they would and offer calming verbal affirmations for positive reinforcement. After playtime, let both of them “stay” or “sit” before allowing more interaction. Don’t forget to walk them together while allowing some sniffing along the way.

Ready to Adopt? One More Thing…

Once you’ve considered all the things listed in this article, you just need to think about one more thing: Are you really ready? If your answer is a resounding “yes,” then go ahead and bring home that adorable pup you’ve been eyeing for some time now.

A warm welcome to our guest writer and Contributor to our Pet Frenzy Community!

This Post Was Written by Farah Al-Khojai

Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear, and Rogz.

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  • I’m so glad to see this encouragement of thoughtful pet adoption. Animal shelters are emptying out now that people have so much time at home. While this so wonderful, it’s important these pups are going to homes that can sustain their care after social distancing ends!

    • Thank you Tana for the kind words to our newest contributor. I think having a second companion for other dogs will help if the distancing ends. I am so glad more people are adopting dogs. It is a perfect time to spend the time needed to help any dog adjust to a new environment and the other dog gets the benefit of having a companion when things get back to a more normal situation.

  • Great advice! It’s so important to consider the pet you already have and his or her feelings. We got a new pup last year. It took our 9 year old dog almost two weeks to warm up to the puppy and play with her. The older dog is very skittish, so we are sure to keep the baby away from her unless we are with them.

    • 9 years old, that is great! So glad you’re able to balance them. Sounds like you have two spoiled pups. 🙂 I do agree, It is so important to stay with them while learning how to warm up. Thank you Tracy so much for your comment.

  • My fiancé wants a dog so badly..actually multiple dogs haha! I feel so bad because I’m allergic, but I promised I’d let him once we’re in a bigger space with a yard. These are great tips though, I think we would definitely take the route of adopting!

    -Madi xo | http://www.everydaywithmadirae.com

    • Thank you Madi for stopping by to read our latest guest post, well I must say I am on your husband’s side (haha) 🙂 I am so glad you found the post full of great tips! We all loved it too! And hopefully, when your husband gets his wish you both will stop by to use the resources on our site. We always love to hear from others that they are thinking of adopting!

  • Such a great post, it is alway a unknown when adding a pet into a established home how things will go, you always hope for the best as a pet lover.

    • I agree it is hard to know ahead of time how things will go. But with hard work and patience, It is so rewarding to be able to watch them grow up and grow old together. We are so glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

  • I adopted a cocker spaniel when I was in college and he was the best dog! I think adopting a dog is such a great thing, but you do have to consider how they will react to your home.

  • How i love dogs, I just wish I could own one, particularly the teddy bare like dog, I don’t really know her name

  • Thanks for a great article! You described really interesting tips. It helped us a lot to adopt a new dog one year ago. Really main things are to build relationships between your dogs and give them both attention and time for walks.

    • We are so glad you enjoyed the post Viktoria, I must agree to give them both the right amount of attention each is important. Looks like you have no regrets on a second dog! 🙂 We too had two dogs that grew old together and even died within months apart from old age. It is an amazing bond to experience when you have two dogs! Plus it really does help when you are working. They have each other during the day to keep themselves busy.