When Is The Right Time To Get Another Dog?

When Is The Right Time To Get Another Dog?

First and foremost, adding a second (or third!) dog to your family is a personal decision, and it should be. If you are planning on bringing a new dog into the fold, it is guaranteed to be a lot of work and responsibility. Owning a dog isn’t always easy. If you already have one dog and that feels like a lot of work to you, consider what it will be like to be responsible for another dog on top of your existing one. For this reason, you should only bring an additional dog into your household when you feel truly ready. However, that begs the question of how to know when you will be ready to do such a thing?

For a variety of reasons, there are several things that you should consider before making the final decision to get another dog. Before you start looking at breeders, or thinking about jumping in the car to head down to your local animal shelter, you should ask yourself these questions.

  • How old is your current dog?

This is especially important to ask yourself if you are thinking of specifically bringing a new puppy into your home for a couple of reasons. For one, it is going to be much more difficult to train a new dog if your current dog is still in training. Most experts recommend that your current dog be around 1 or 2 years old and completely trained before adding a new dog to the pack. Secondly, older dogs may not be able to keep up with the endless amounts of energy a puppy has, and may even become aggressive if the new dog is constantly bothering them.

  • Is your family ready for the commitment that comes with a new dog?

I’ve said it once already, and I will repeat it again here. Owning one dog is a commitment, but owning TWO dogs is a much, much larger commitment. Are your kids the ones begging you for another dog? If so, think about this. Are they ready to help out with the care of the new dog? Sure, we’d all love to think that our kids are going to take the reins and responsibility for the new puppy, but unfortunately that is probably a pipedream. What this ultimately means is that YOU will be the one that feeds, walks, and bathes the dog. Does the thought of that stress you out? Maybe reconsider tabling the discussion until you feel the kids are truly ready to get another dog.

  • Do you have enough free time in your schedule to get another dog?

Does your job pull you away from your home for long stretches of time? It is important that you understand how much time you will have to devote to training and properly socializing your new dog. If you have a lot on your calendar, it is probably better to clear your schedule and then, once you’ve got a little room to breathe, reconsider getting another dog.

  • Can you afford it?

This one is just simple math. Twice the number of dogs equals double the expense. You will be spending more on dog food, toys, shots, trips to the vet, etc. If you can’t handle the strain that a second dog is going to put on your budget, don’t get one.

  • Does your current dog have any behavioral issues?

There is an odd tendency to get a new dog, because your current dog has behavioral issues and you think that by adding a second dog into the mix, it will somehow fix the existing issues. That’s not actually the case. More often, what usually happens is that your current dog will pass their unique neuroses on to your new dog, and now you’ve got two anxious or aggressive dogs on your hands. You need to work on training the bad behavior out of the dog you already have before you consider a second.

Let me summarize. If your new dog’s arrival is going to come with more stress than joy, then this isn’t a good option for you. Why? Dogs are expensive in terms of both monetary assets and your precious time. If you don’t have the time to train and the money to care for multiple dogs, then you should not get another dog. Then there’s the fact that you’re not guaranteed any help with this from your family members. If every one is not 100% on-board with the decision, and ready to take on responsibility by feeding, bathing, or walking the new dog, then the responsibility falls to you. If that scares you, or stresses you out, then you don’t need another dog.

However, as I said at the very start of this post, choosing to add a second dog to your household is a personal thing but I hope this little list will give someone having trouble with that decision some guidance to whether or not they are truly ready.

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