That’s a great question and one that’s not addressed often enough! The goal of adding to your pet family is a joyful prospect. Isn’t it supposed to be two times the fun? Often, there are mixed reactions from family members about getting a second dog. Their biggest concern is most likely to be, “will the new dog get along with Buddy?
Confused? Here’s a short, handy checklist for you to decide if you, as well as your pet, are ready to welcome a ‘sibling’ dog into the family.
Gender is important
Experts suggest getting a dog of the opposite sex to balance the behavior and avoid conflicts. Although not a hard and fast rule, it is generally accepted that a male dog gets along better with a female. This is because dominance and power issues come into play, and with the same gender, fights can arise to prove who is the alpha. Your resident dog’s temperament is also of utmost importance in determining the gender of the second dog. Dogs of the same gender could work if your current dog is mild-tempered and playful, which also depends on the breed.
Consider the breed
Just like gender, experts suggest getting a second dog of the same breed and size as the first one to minimize discord. Breeds like Cocker spaniels, Golden Retrievers and Labradors are known to be sweet and gentle and might get along with a dog of the same gender. However, caution must be shown if you have a German Shepherd, Doberman, or other dogs with strong, intense personalities.
When it comes to size, too, it wouldn’t serve well to have a large Doberman and a much smaller Rottweiler. Even if they do get along, there is the risk of causing injury during play.
Family members and space
Getting a second dog is double the joy, but it’s also double the work and expenses! Is your partner more enthusiastic than you? Are your kids insisting on getting a second dog? If you are hesitating, then you need to have a family discussion. List out the pros and cons of having a second doggie and decide based on the practicalities.
And that includes space. Living in an apartment gives you very little scope for expansion, and it’s uncomfortable for the dogs too. It’s incredibly important to evaluate how much room you can spare.
Evaluate your schedule
Take Bruno for a walk, prepare breakfast, drop kids to school, get ready for work. Mornings look like this for many of us. And evenings are unpredictable. Do you feel you have the wherewithal to take on another pet? Consider how much time you can spare to spend with your new pet for socializing, training, familiarization, and other activities as needed.
Anticipate life changes
Are you planning to have a baby? Get married? Looking for a new job? These are major life changes that affect your pet’s life too. A new pet is already adjusting to many changes, and introducing them to more would only increase their anxiety. Wait till things settle down.
Think of travel plans
Travel may be at a standstill as of now, but it’s not going to remain so forever. Getting a pet is a long-term commitment, and it involves checking your accessibility to pet-sitters or kennels when you need to go away on holiday. Want to take your pets along with you? Read up on what it takes to travel with two pets.
We can all agree that a dog’s love is therapeutic. It’s unconditional and forgiving. With this guide, we hope you are able to list out the advantages and disadvantages to make the right decision. We hope you’re able to decide the right time to bring more joy into your home.