Have you been considering adopting another dog? Maybe you've had your furry friend for a while now and have been wondering if he or she would like a sibling. Whatever your reasons are, before deciding to get another dog, it's a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. Here are some things you should ask yourself and think through to truly decide if you're prepared to take on another dog.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

Can I Afford It?

The biggest and probably most important thing to consider is whether or not you can realistically afford caring for another dog. Besides paying for the dog itself, you'll need to think about all of the expenses that come along with another pet in the long term, such as food, accessories, trips to the vet, grooming, training sessions, daycare, and more. If you're renting your home, there may be additional fees for having another pet as well. Since what you currently spend will most likely double, make sure you sit down and write out your budget so that you don't run into any surprise expenses down the road. To find out how much it really cost to own a dog, click here.

Do I Have Time?

In addition to taking a look at your budget, you'll want to also look at your schedule. Do you have a busy lifestyle and spend a lot of time traveling? Then you probably don't want to add another pet into the mix. Besides the everyday tasks, adopting another dog will require a lot of initial time spent bonding, training, and adjusting him or her to your current dog. You also may want to consider if you have any significant events coming up. Are you switching jobs, moving, getting married, having a baby, etc.? If so, this might not be the best time to adopt another dog. You'll probably want to wait until things settle down in your life a little bit so that you can be sure you'll be able to give your new pet all the time and attention it will need.

Do I Have The Space?

a young beagle running in a backyard with a tennis ball in its mouth

Double the dog not only means double the time and bills, but also double the space! Do you realistically have enough space in your home for another dog? Think about where they will play and nap as well as where you will store their kennel and other gear. Even if you have the indoor space, you still need to consider the size of your yard and your vehicle. Will you be able to transport both dogs safely? Will they have enough room to run around outside? If things are already a bit tight, you may want to wait until you have a bigger home before adopting another dog.

What Kind Of Dog Should I Get?

When it comes to deciding on getting another dog, you need to think about what kind would best fit your living situation and would get along with your existing dog. Some things you'll want to keep in mind are breed, size, and age. An older dog might not adjust well to a young, energetic puppy running around your house, and a larger dog may accidentally injure a tiny dog if play gets too rough. You may need to do a little research on your own to see what breeds will most likely get along with your current dog. Also, consider the behavior of your current dog. Are they well trained? Do they get along with other dogs? Do they have any issues such as separation anxiety or excessive barking? In addition to this, do they have any health problems that require a lot of extra attention from you? Some of these issues could determine whether or not getting a second dog is a good idea.

Is Everyone In The House On Board?

Last, but certainly not least, you need to have some conversations with people you're living with, whether it be your family, a significant other, or room mates. If you're renting, be sure your landlord or apartment office allows you to have multiple dogs. Know that another pet will likely mean more mess around the home with shedding, possible accidents, etc. Talk openly about this with your housemates to ensure that everyone will be prepared for everything that a new pet will bring to your space.

If you do decide that another dog is a good option for you, here are a few tips for introducing your new dog to your current dog:

  • Don't take your current dog with you when going to pick up your new dog. You don't want to cause either of them more stress than need be.
  • Consider introducing them to each other in a neutral space (i.e. outside of your home). Considering a park or somewhere outdoors.
  • Keep your dogs apart from each other when you are not around to supervise, especially at first as they are getting used to each other.
  • Be sure to also provide each dog with a separate bed, food bowl, and water bowl so that they don't fight over these items.

Hopefully these have been some helpful tips when it comes to introducing whether or not a second dog is a good option for you! Remember that choosing to bring home another dog is a big decision and one that should be taken seriously for your dog's well-being and your own!

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