Dogs are like potato chips (except better) – you can’t have just one! While some dogs prefer to be an only pet, many others enjoy and appreciate company. Between work, school, activities, and other obligations, it can be di cult to give our animals all the love and attention we want. The addition of another dog can help ll in the gaps while humans are away.
If your current pup doesn’t have much experience with other dogs, it’s a good idea to test the waters. Doing some dog play dates helps you get
a feel for their socialization skills and preferences. Some may do better with side-by-side walks rst while others prefer to meet immediately in an enclosed area. Dogs may be barrier reactive, and seem threatening being a fence or on a leash. If you’re worried or your dog has never met another dog, there is always the option of getting professional help. It’s never a bad idea to take extra precautions; socializing dogs should always be a safe experience for all humans and animals involved.
Maybe you had a second dog in the
past, or are a regular at the local dog
park. Does your dog prefer to interact
with others? If so, what types? Some
dogs prefer to play, while others like
to sni , sleep and coexist. Energy lev-
el, age, and gender can all be considerations. Dogs don’t have to be of opposite sex to live together, but if your dog is on the pickier side, it’s worth considering.
Once you have found a dog and had
a successful intro between pups, additional safety measures can be
taken at home. Some dogs are more overprotective on their own turf, or prefer
to play with
special toys on
their own. Even
if a dog doesn’t
guarding issues, it’s good to have a wide selection of toys to choose from and share. Separate feeding is always a great precaution, or at least keep a lot of space between bowls. Guarding or not, dogs can feel pressured to nish their food faster, leading to indigestion issues.
Dogs may need multiple introductions in the home to feel fully comfortable. Crates or separate rooms can provide time outs and breaks. If the relationship is rocky at rst, you can separate dogs when you are away and slowly leave them alone
for longer periods as they get more comfortable. While the ultimate goal is to have company and friends, never be afraid to take your time.
Once dogs are acclimated, they have a built in companion! While this doesn’t replace enrichment and exercise from
humans, it is a great supplement. It is a good idea to keep up on training so habits the dogs pick up are positive ones. Finally, keep in mind that second dog is extra time and monetary commitment. All logistics aside, if you and your family are prepared for the extra responsibility, adopting a second dog is double the fun and double the love!