Being the proud parent of a dog is not only a wonderful feeling but also a very big responsibility, yet it is also a highly rewarding experience. Many households in the UK have more than one dog while many dog parents considering getting another dog.
So, if you’re considering getting another dog to keep your current pal company, there are some factors you must first consider. This is vital to ensure a happy household and minimise the stress on both dogs – remember, a dog is for life.
In this article, you’ll find some of the most important points to keep in mind when getting another pup, including how you can introduce the two dogs to each other safely.
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Consider your dog’s needs and temperament
The first main thing to consider before getting another dog is your current dog’s personality. Are you looking to get a new dog for yourself or is it to prevent your furry friend from getting lonely during the day? If it’s the first, then it’s important to assess your current dog’s socialisation skills, energy levels, and behaviour.
For example, a highly active and playful dog would benefit most from a similar energy breed, while a more reserved dog would be best suited to a calmer friend. If your dog isn’t often friendly with other canines, then another pet may not be the best idea, or it may be sensible to test the waters first by organising some playdates.
Similarly, it’s important that the breed of the potential companion is compatible with your dog. Some breeds have a natural affinity for each other, whereas others do not. Size also makes a big difference as you would not want one dog becoming injured during playtime.
Resources and commitment
Bringing another dog into the family means increased responsibilities. You’ll need to be able to invest more time, effort, and resources with regard to grooming, training, and feeding. Make sure that you have the capacity to meet the needs of both dogs, including mental stimulation, exercise, and healthcare.
You’ll also need to figure out where the dog will sleep, including additional furniture like a dog crate and bedding, a collar, and a harness. Not to mention, a variety of toys for them to play with – unless your current pup is happy to share.
Proper introduction and socialisation
When introducing a new dog to your clan, the process should be done gradually and in a controlled setting. It can be intimidating for dogs when they are around unfamiliar people or animals, so ensure they have an opportunity to get acquainted first without the feeling of being frightened.
Always supervise their interactions closely during the initial stages and reward any good behaviour from both dogs. Regular and gradual socialisation is key to building a strong connection between both pups. If in doubt, consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviourist to come up with a suitable course of action.
Supervision during interactions
When getting another dog, it’s important that you make time to supervise how they interact with your current dog, especially during the initial stages. Since your dog has acclimated to life as an only pup, there may be some jealousy or rivalry between the two, so you must be there to prevent a fight from occurring.
If you are not able to stay home at all times, you’ll likely need to create barriers or keep the dogs separate from each other. It’s necessary that you spend quality time with each dog one-on-one as well as together – and don’t forget to praise them when they interact nicely. Having another dog requires a lot of time and you should be willing to put in the effort.
The room in your home
Is your home spacious enough to accommodate another dog, or are things feeling cramped as it is? Does your current dog have enough room to relax? If the answer is yes, great! If not, then it may be cruel to bring in another animal.
You’ve got to take into account where the new dog will eat, sleep, and play, particularly if you don’t have a garden. The dogs may be okay with sharing the space but it’s only fair they have their own designated areas to go for some alone time.
Also, bear in mind the impact the dogs will have on your home. Dogs aren’t known for being the tidiest of animals, so be prepared for more potty accidents, damage to furniture, and muddy pawprints. If you’re not so happy with the current state of your property, imagine the damage two are capable of.
How you will travel as a bigger family
Adding a second dog to the mix can make the process of travelling a bit more difficult. If you don’t fancy the pups tagging along, you’ll need to find someone willing to care for both dogs. Should family or friends not entertain the idea, you’ll likely need to pay for a dog sitter – and this doesn’t usually mean two for the price of one.
Even taking the two dogs on a road trip will be more of a challenge, involving less space in the vehicle, more pets to entertain, and more noise. But if that doesn’t faze you, then you’re sure to have a great time. As we can all agree, you just can’t beat the love of a dog.
It may be a wonderful experience to have more than one dog but remember, every dog comes with different requirements and challenges. So, only get another dog if you are confident enough to raise both of them. Also, take your existing dog into consideration because it is more important.
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