Getting a second dog? What to consider before adopting another dog

Getting a dog is always a big decision, even if you already have one. Find out what you need to consider before adopting another dog.

You might think that adding another dog to a household won’t change much, but every dog comes with its own individual needs that make it a responsibility all of its own.

Everything, from the size of your home, how much time you have, your pet insurance policies and how your current dog will react to another pet in the home should all be considered carefully before making the leap into adopting a second dog.

Can you afford all the added expenses of a second pet?

The first thing you should consider is the additional cost of a second dog. That means double the food, double the toys, a new bed, a new leash, a new collar, double the cost of grooming and so much more to consider. Effectively, a new dog will almost double what you are currently spending on dog ownership.

Do you have the time to care for two dogs?

Do you have the time to train and care for a second dog? Training a new dog takes a lot of time and dedication, as well as caring for one. All dogs deserve the same amount of attention and care, so make sure that you and your family have enough time between you all to properly pay attention to both pets equally.

Additionally, ensure you’ll be able to take both pets to vet appointments, keep them well-groomed and well-fed as well as be able to walk them both.

If your dogs are different sizes, you may not be able to take them both on the same walk every day, as big dogs need significantly more walking each day than small dogs. Making your pug walk the same distance every day as your border collie would leave the smaller one exhausted!

Will both dogs get on?

One of the most important things to consider is how both dogs will react to having another dog around. If your first dog is particularly nervous or aggressive, bringing another animal into their space may make these traits worse, resulting in your dogs fighting with each other or becoming stressed and unwell.

The personalities of both dogs will need to be compatible for living in the same space to make sure they are both safe and secure in their own homes.

Does your insurance policy cover more than one dog?

If your dog is covered by a pet insurance company (for example Petsure pet insurance), it is important to know if your policy can cover more than one pet. If not, you can ask the them if they can expand it to cover both dogs.

Think about whether the cost of this would be something you could easily cover, as pet insurance is vital for any dog owner to cover any unexpected medical bills that may come up from an accident or illness.

Does your home have space?

Consider closely whether your home has space for two dogs. Is there space to give each dog their own area, and a garden big enough for both of them to play together? Having enough space for both dogs to live comfortably together and also be able to spend time alone if they want to is so important, as tensions can arise if pets are feeling too cooped up.

Also important to note is that double the dogs make double the mess. Make sure you are prepared to clean up after both dogs and tackle things like dog hair everywhere and all of the other messes that dogs make.

If you’re thinking of getting a second dog, make sure you’ve considered all of these points before you sign any paperwork. Make sure you’re properly able to care for both dogs if you are planning on bringing a new pet into the home.

Photo by Pauline Loroy