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Is it better to have two dogs?

There could be a handful of benefits to having two dogs in your home for both you and your pup! But there are some factors you have to consider before adding a second dog to your family. Our Knightdale vets will discuss if having two dogs is better than one.

Are two dogs better than one?

By nature, dogs are social and thrive in group environments. Therefore, there are many advantages to having two dogs versus one.

  • 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

While getting a second dog can help keep your first dog company, the process can be difficult at first. Your first dog may not enjoy having to share their environment or toys. We'll go over some of the factors you should consider when getting a second dog, as well as how to make the process as simple as possible for everyone.

The Consequences of Adding a Second Dog to Your Home

Getting a second dog may cause your first dog to feel displaced and uncertain. While most dogs get along with their new sibling, your first dog may be unhappy about having to share their toys, space, territory, or even their owner's affection. When preparing to bring home a second dog, it is critical to plan ahead of time and conduct thorough research.

The Kind of Dog You Should Get

When purchasing a new puppy, it is critical to consider which breed will best suit your current dog and your family's needs. As a result, you must ensure that you are accomplishing more than just checking off a few mental boxes. 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?

You ought to be able to find a dog that will be a wonderful addition to your family or decide if you are ready for a second dog by considering these things.

Ways to Help Your Old Dog and New Dog Get Along

If you've decided it's time to get a second dog, there are some steps you can take to make the process easier for everyone and foster the best relationship possible between your two dogs.

Talk to Your Family First

Deciding to bring home a new dog should take time, and it's best to consult with everyone in your household to see if it meets everyone's needs, including your dog's! When deciding whether to get a new pet, think about your current dog's age, physical ability, and personality.

Don't Take Your Current Dog With You

We do not recommend bringing your current dog with you when choosing your new furry companion. Your dog may distract you while you are trying to make a decision, and the car ride may become very intense.

Introduce Your Dogs on Neutral Grounds

When it's time for your two dogs to meet, take them somewhere neutral to prevent territorial aggression. You could ask a friend or family member to take your current dog to a quiet park or green space, where you can meet them with your new puppy. If you already have more than one dog, you'll need extra help or be able to keep them all on leashes.

Keep Your Dogs Under control

While maintaining full control of the dogs, make sure you keep their leashes loose enough so they don't feel hampered.

Let the Dogs Get to Know Each Other

When dogs meet, they usually circle and sniff each other. Maintain a positive attitude during the meeting. Keep an eye out for aggressive behavior and, if necessary, redirect their attention. If the dogs start growling or snarling, don't scold them; this will only teach them to suppress their emotions when you're around. You want them to establish a fair and safe social hierarchy, even when you are not present.

Are your dogs ignoring one another? This is fine; do not force them to interact; they will get to know each other when they are ready.

Bring Your Pups Home

You can bring your dogs home once they have learned to behave well with one another.

Keep in mind that the two dogs will form a hierarchy, with your first dog usually taking the position of Alpha. As a result, you should bring your current dog into the house first and have someone assist you in walking your new dog on their leash. This gives your original dog the opportunity to welcome your new puppy into their domain.

Limit Chances for Rivalry

Make sure each dog has their own food dish, water bowl, and bed. After mealtimes, pick up the food bowls to reduce the risk of food aggression, however, you can leave the water bowls out. 

Also, remember to retrieve your first dog's favorite toys and items to avoid conflict as the new relationship grows. Once you're certain the dogs are getting along, you can return their favorite toys.

Remember to Supervise Playtime

When you are not at home, we strongly advise keeping both dogs separated. You should keep a close eye on them while they play together. Don't forget to compliment them on how well they interact with one another.

You must schedule daily, quality one-on-one time with each dog to strengthen your relationship with them.

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 thinking about adopting a second dog? Contact our Knightdale vets today and schedule an appointment. Your veterinarian can let you know if they think your pooch will benefit from having a sibling and offer you tips on how you can make the process as stress-free as possible. 

New Patients Are Welcome

Smithfield Road Veterinary Hospital, PLLC is currently accepting new patients! Our experienced and kind vets are passionate about the health of Knightdale pets. Contact us today to book your furry friend's first appointment.

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