Before you head to the animal shelter and start swooning over all of the adorable dogs that need homes, make sure you know what you’re in for. In our experience, you really shouldn’t even start looking for another dog until you know for sure you’re ready for the addition. If you’re anything like us here at Emmy’s Best- you have a soft spot for animals and will talk yourself into bringing one home no matter what!
We definitely aren’t trying to sway you away from getting another dog! Having multiple pets is an amazing experience and can bring so much more joy to your life. We just want to make sure that you understand what it means to bring on additional pets. Here are some tips to make sure you’re set up to have the best multiple pet home!
One of the first things to consider before bringing another pet into the family is if you have enough space. It might not seem like dogs take up a lot of space, but when you start having multiple pets in your home, you start to realize they take up more than you think!
Does your current dog sleep in bed with you? If so, do you have a large enough area that you can have multiple dogs sleep with you? It’s unrealistic to expect your current dog to change sleep habits just because of a new addition.
Besides figuring out where your new pet will sleep, you also need to make sure that you have enough room to give this pet it’s own independent space. Having a solitary space to comfortably eat and use the bathroom will make a world of difference for a new pet. You also want to respect your first dog by not immediately taking away their freedom and comforts. No one likes their personal space being encroached on.
Once you determine that your dogs will have enough space to co-mingle, it’s time to decide if your wallet can handle an addition. Two dogs means two of everything. You’ll need twice as much food, have twice as many veterinarian bills, twice the boarding fees, etc. Consider if you board your animal when going on vacation. Can you afford to double what you currently pay for one dog to be boarded? Does going to the veterinarian for yearly shots make you sweat? These costs will all be multiplied by two with an additional pet. You don’t want to take on an animal if you’ll struggle in the future to provide for their basic needs.
Consider Personality Types
If you’ve made it this far-you’re in a great place to bring on that second pet! All things considered, you feel that you have enough time, money, and love to give to another animal. The tricky part can be introducing a potential new pet to those you already have. For instance, if you have one dog at home, you need to consider their needs and personality traits.
If you have a dominant, more assertive male dog at home, bringing home another one of this kind can be detrimental to the delicate balance of home life. The dogs won’t be comfortable, and neither will you. Consider instead finding a dog or puppy that is more on the submissive side so that they naturally fall back in a pack mentality. Remember that dogs are pack animals with important hierarchies. You can’t successfully have two alphas in a pack.
Plan a Play Date
When you find a member that seems like a good match for your family, talk to the shelter or owner about having your dog and theirs meet. Take them to a neutral area where the dogs can feel each other out to see if they’re a good match. They might not be best of friends right off the bat, but you can gauge if there’s potential for a good relationship.
Taking these precautions before bringing home a new pet will save you a lot of unnecessary hassle in the long run. When you’re in the right position, and find the right match, you’ll be so glad you did.
Adding an additional pet to the family can be incredibly beneficial for all involved!