If you’re a dog person, you know the struggle of always wanting more dogs. They’re addicting. When I adopted Starla, I thought she’d be the one and only top dog of the house always. But all of that changed about three months ago when we adopted our second dog.
I would love to say everything has been fine and dandy but that’s just not the truth. There’s been tons of ups and downs. There have been days when both my boyfriend and I wail that we jokingly want to return her to the shelter or at least question our own sanity. So here’s what I ask you to think about before owning a second dog:
Things to Consider Before Adopting a Second Dog
1: Seriously ask yourself why you want a second dog.
For us, it was about companionship for our first dog. Seriously, think over the reasons that you want a second dog. If it’s because you just love puppies and having a little fluff ball around the house would be fine, try to think over all the negatives of owning a puppy. Can you handle it? Can your family handle it? Can your other dog handle it? Don’t make this a spontaneous decision.
2: Is your current dog ready or willing to share their house with another dog?
While dogs can be friendly in dog parks or on walks, it’s a totally different story when another dog comes in and shares their house with them. Try to be cognizant of how your dog handles sharing toys, if they’re possessive of you, or how needy they are. A good idea is to invite a dog that your dog is already friends with to spend the night. See how they interact and handle being in each other’s company 24/7.
3: Finding a good match
I think this should be a big, obvious reason, but this should be one of the most important things to consider. If you’re adopting a puppy, this might be easier since your older dog will take the alpha role and teach the puppy the rules of the house. But there are still things to consider even with puppies. If the puppy is super rambunctious and you have an older low-key dog, it might cause a lot of tension and resentment from your other dog. Try to find a match that will work with energy levels, sizes, and personalities. Starla, my first dog, is always more of an alpha. We knew that we needed a dog who was playful, friendly, but okay with being more beta to Starla.
4: Be prepared for all of your dog’s bad behaviors to be doubled
If your current dog has some bad behaviors, prepare for your new dog to learn and pick up these bad behaviors, too. I’d try to fix anything you can before you get a second dog because it’ll just be harder to break that bad behavior now that you have two dogs doing the same thing. For example, Starla is really bad at eating too fast. Mila picked up on that almost immediately. So now, I have two slow feed bowls to prevent them from inhaling their whole cup of food in one bite.
What it’s like Having Two Dogs
It’s definitely trickier but much more rewarding. I find that the two dogs play and cuddle with each other which takes a lot of pressure off of me from having to play with my dog immediately after I get home from work, etc. I would like to think it makes Starla a lot less needy since she has a buddy, but I think she will always be a needy dog. She prefers to sleep with us in our bed, than with Mila in the dogs beds on the ground.
It honestly makes my heart sing to see two happy dogs greet me when I get home, cuddle with each other, play, bicker, and just enjoy each others company.
Walking is probably the thing I hate about having two dogs the most. It makes me really want to find a yard. They’re just big enough that if both of them pull in the same direction at the same time (i.e. if they see a squirrel), it’ll pull me a bit off my feet. So it can be a bit tricky when I have to walk them by myself. We have bought a tandem leash that slightly alleviates the issue, but overall, it’d be better if both of them could learn how to loose-leash walk. Something I’ve been totally unsuccessful to this day.