Should You Adopt a Second Dog?

If you love pets, you might wonder if you should adopt a second dog. Here’s a list of the pros and cons of adopting another pet, plus a few tips for adding a second dog to your family.

My husband and I adopted another dog two weeks ago, and I am so happy with her! Her name is Tiffany (not a name I would’ve chosen but she’s three years old and it’s too late to change it) – she’s the little white poodle beside my terrier, Georgie. She sorta looks like a Tiffy, doesn’t she? She was a total princess and lap dog, but we’re transitioning her into a princess warrior!

Should You Adopt a Second Dog?

Tiffy fit into our household perfectly, partly because of her temperament and partly because we did a lot of reading about adding new pets to a home that already has a dog and a cat. I was actually quite taken aback by the information I found about adopting another dog – especially the warnings about adding another dog to your household.

Warnings about adopting a second dog

One article in particular was full of warnings, which made me really nervous to adopt another pet. The veterinarian in the article said to feed the dogs separately, but we’ve found that Tiffy and Georgie are happy to chow down right beside each other. The article also advised not introducing the second dog to the first one at home. Rather, meet somewhere “neutral.” We didn’t do that – a friend of mine brought Tiffy over, and we went from there.

Should your new dog have different rules than your first dog? I never would have thought so, but I’m letting Tiffy on the sofa and on the bed at night. Georgie is never allowed up. For some reason, this works for them – there’s no jealousy or aggression.

If you want to adopt a second dog, remember that the dynamic of the dogs’ personalities and temperaments is the most important factor in how they’ll get along. Tiffy wasn’t exposed to other dogs at all, and she doesn’t know how to play. Georgie LOVES to play, but she’s outta luck. Luckily, they’re both easy-going, low-energy, gentle dogs that seem to be happy just to be here with us.

Before you adopt a second dog

Make sure all your family members are on board! My husband wasn’t keen on getting a second dog. I really wanted one because I felt it make us more of a “family”, and I love walking through the forest with dogs. He was a bit more concerned about the money than I was (a definitely drawback to my hope to adopt a second dog), and worried about our cat. Plus, he just accepted a layoff package from his job and is looking for new work. Talk about new beginnings and transitions – we’re going through lots right now.

Luckily, Bruce was willing to give Tiffy a try. And even more luckily, she didn’t give us a single reason to send her back where she came from. Our only challenge with her is barking at strangers when we’re out walking. She’s responding really well to the negative reinforcement of a spray bottle.

If you want to adopt a second dog, think about taking her for a “test drive” to see how she fits with the family. This is the best way to decide if you should adopt her, and it gives everyone at home a chance to interact with her.

Tips for transitioning another dog to your home

Make sure she has her own water dish, leash, collar, dog bed, toys, and kong. Pet supplies such as the paw print doggy bed are much cheaper on Amazon than at PetSmart. Tiffy brought her own doggy bed, fleece, dog treats, and even a huge folding double door dog crate, which we use when we have to leave them at home alone.

Don’t forget about researching natural dry or canned dog food when you’re adopting a second dog. Again, much more convenient and cheaper if delivered to your door by Amazon than buying it at your local pet store. I make homemade chicken soup for Georgie, because she has tummy problems.

And I love having a second dog; there’s something about two dogs that makes a family a home.

What do you think – are you ready to adopt a second dog?

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