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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 Pflugerville 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 it may be beneficial to get a second dog to keep your first dog company, the process may be difficult at first. Your first dog may not like having to share their environment or toys. We'll go over some of the considerations you should make when getting a second dog, as well as how to make the process as easy 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 getting a new puppy, it's critical to consider which breed will be best for your current dog and your family's needs. For this reason, you must ensure that you are doing more than simply checking off a few mental boxes. You must 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

There are some steps you can take to ease the process for everyone and promote the best possible relationship between your two dogs if you've determined it's time to get a second dog.  

Talk to Your Family First

Deciding to bring home a new dog should take time, and it's best to ask everyone in your household what they think about the subject and determine whether it meets everyone's needs, including your dog's! When deciding whether to get a new pet, consider 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 avoid territorial aggression. You could ask a friend or family member to bring your current dog to a quiet park or green space, and you can meet them there with your new puppy. If you already have more than one dog, you will need additional assistance or be able to keep them all on a leash.

Keep Your Dogs Under control

While keeping full control of the dogs, make sure you are holding them loose enough on their leash that they don't feel too hampered by it.

Let the Dogs Get to Know Each Other

When dogs meet, they typically circle and sniff each other. Maintain a positive attitude throughout the meeting. Watch for signs of aggression, and intervene when necessary by redirecting their attention. If the dogs begin to growl or snarl, try not to scold them, as this will only teach them to suppress their emotions when you are present. You want them to create a fair, 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

When your dogs begin to behave well toward one another, you can bring them home.

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 home, we strongly advise keeping both dogs apart. You should keep a close eye on them when they play together. Don't forget to give them plenty of praise when they interact well with each other. 

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 Pflugerville 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 Welcome

Pfennig Lane Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Pflugerville companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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