Pros/Cons of Getting a Second Dog

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.


Born to Sniff
Barked: Sun May 3, '09 8:25am PST 
Anybody have any comments on what are the good and bad of getting a second dog? I've been seriously looking into getting a second dog, for several reasons. One, Kady is very social with her buddies and I think would enjoy having a brother/sister to play with. Kady has hip dysplasia (which is pretty much under control), so I think that a smaller sibling would keep her more active. Three, I maybe, just maybe, could have one minute to myself without my shadow going everywhere I go - it would be nice if she wasn't quite so dependent on me. (With my luck I'll develop TWO shadows.) smile

I've been getting advice from various friends that are basically in two groups: the "do it" group, and the "don't do it" group. The reasons from the don't group are: You need to have someone home all day when you have multiple dogs for dog safety (temperment issues), cost for food and vet, and last "Kady is somewhere around 6 yrs., it would be mean now that she is nearing her senior years to bring another dog that she would have to compete with for your attention, you should have thought of that within the first year of getting her." I've taken into consideration the money issues with having two dogs.

What do you guys think?

Black dogs rock!
Barked: Sun May 3, '09 8:35am PST 
I havent been in the more than one dog group for that long bol, but some of these are not that big a deal in my mind. I dont think having someone home all the time is necessary, although I did keep mine separated for the first little while when no one was home. As for the age issue, Bunny just turned 5 on May 1 and I dont by any means consider him a senior dog. Sometimes he does get tired of Princess playing but he lets her know and she leaves him alone. Yes there are twice the food and vet bills, but Princess is very small, so that helps alot big grin All in all I am not a bit sorry I have 2 and now am probably crazy enough to try 3 or 4 happy dance

Life is GOOD:)
Barked: Sun May 3, '09 8:51am PST 
Well, Sativa was 12 years old when I adopted Bandit at 7 weeks old. That was a huge age difference. Every dog that I know that is around 6-7 years old still is almost like a pup. I don't think that would be a big deal since your dog isn't that old. I guess the main thing you need to think of is how good your present dog is.thinking Sativa taught Bandit to dig in the garbage, be food aggressive, beg for food, bark at everything in the yard, luckely Bandit isn't a real barker so I got that under control. I was a lot harder training Bandit to have better manners when Sativa can be a little brat sometimes. Some things that you never really noticed with your first dog will defiantly bug you once you have 2 dogs doing that. So think about your first dog and how he/she (don't remember which sorry) acts and there manners.

You said you already know the food and vet price difference with two dogs.

I also think once you get that second dog sometimes you won't get that same great bond that you had with only one dog. Sometimes that happens sometimes is doesn't. Something else to think about.

I never worried about leaving Sativa and Bandit home alone. They were and still can be left home alone and be just fine.

Hope some of that helps.wave

Edited by author Sun May 3, '09 8:54am PST


Indiana- *11/03/1999-- 2/28/2010*

Was such a good- dog
Barked: Sun May 3, '09 9:27am PST 
I agree with the above posts. I think ur main concern is just the bills.. but that is completely ur decision if you can handle it.

As you said your dog is very social. Indy is a very social dog and i could bring just about any dog and age or size around here.. She is 9 1/2 yrs old.. and about a year ago we adopted a 7 month old sibe.. They have their share of "arguements" but he has a done of energy and they get along for the most part. Not saying they are a perfect match, but hey if they can do it.. esp you should be able to manage if its your choosing. Your dog isn't THAT old anyways.

Changing one- mind at a time - APBT style
Barked: Sun May 3, '09 1:57pm PST 
I'm not going to say do it or don't do it because I don't know enough about your situation, but for the record, you don't necessarily need someone home at all times if you have two dogs, that's what crates were invented for wink (or if you can't crate one of the dogs for some reason, seperate dog-proof rooms behind closed doors work as too). Having two dogs can be great so both dogs have a constant companionship, but having two dogs means twice the up-keep and expenses, both need one-on-one time with the family away from the other dog sometimes, and it is best in most cases to be able to safely separate the dogs when everyone is gone.

All legs and no- tail
Barked: Sun May 3, '09 2:39pm PST 
We are a three dog household, for the moment, and I honestly can't imagine ever living with just one dog again. At times its frustrating because we have a small house and the dogs love to crowd all together in one room, but other than that, I find it's been easier for us. Gunner and Miles keep each other entertained when no one is home, allowing Wiggles the alone time he desires, being old and prone to sleeping most of the day away. There are three people in my family (myself and my parents) so it's easy for one of us to each manage one dog.

We've never been concerned about leaving all three alone together. When no one is home, all valuable toys and food are put out of reach to prevent guarding and we've never had an issue. They snark at each other every once in a while, but we haven't ever had an all out fight in my lifetime.

The other benefits are: a well-behaved older dog will help to teach a younger one manners, your dog will never truly be alone, and you get twice the love. Bills increase, of course, but so long as you can afford them, I see no issue with adding another dog to you family.

Whose bed?? Why- would YOU think- that?
Barked: Mon May 4, '09 8:18am PST 
I much prefer two dogs to one. They have each other for company when I am not here. Everyone needs another heartbeat in the house. They are not separated, except for meals. Lily likes to eat in her crate. It works out because she is a slow eater and 'Ria baby is a vacuum.

Fun loving Moira has relaxed many of Lily's fears and taught her to play. Gentle Lily tells Moira how to behave. She doesn't like her to be in trouble. They are resting together on my bed right now. A few minutes ago, they were running through the house wrestling. Two dogs=many times the love and fun.

The down side: walks are much less relaxing with two dogs, but it is improving with time.

Lily is four and Moira is two. I do not anticipate Lily changing much in the next two years, so I do not see six as old. Kady might like a young adult dog more than a puppy. Go to Petfinder and look for kind eyes. You'll know when you find the right one.

A neighbor made the comment that those are the two happiest looking dogs she has ever seen, seconded by her husband. That speaks volumes for how my furgirls feel about each other.

I'm a trilingual- dog!
Barked: Mon May 4, '09 8:58am PST 
We have 3 dogs!

We didn't get our second one until our first one was over ten years old, and he'd been an "only dog" for all his young life. Still, he didn't have many problems adjusting.. I think that he rather enjoys watching the two young ones duke it out, and it adds some fun to his days just to have another dog with him all the time. He's never tried to fight with any of our two younger ones, and they've learned when he's not in a good mood to stay away.

I think it's a great idea to get two dogs, but yes, your food costs and vet bills will be higher! Other than that, I think it's a good idea. Plus your first pup isn't -that- old yet. smile

The Guardian
Barked: Mon May 4, '09 9:03am PST 

They have each other to play with
Double the love you get back
Double the fun
More exercise (this can be a pro or a con depending on your views)
They can teach each other good behaviors


Double the training
More to handle when you take them out and if you take one and not the other you feel guilty
More vet bills
They can teach each other bad behaviors (Nighque taught Steele to chase cats.) Dx
Double the heartbreak when they pass on
They may not get along
More poop to pick up

So the cons outweigh the pros in this list, but most of them aren't that bad. I think having a second dog (or multiple dogs) is great as opposed to only one dog. So with most of the cons being minor, I'd say the pros outweigh the cons and it's definitely worth it, imo. =)

Edited by author Mon May 4, '09 9:13am PST