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Adding a Second Dog to Your Family: Pros and Cons

February 27th, 2020 by Cherished Companions

Two dogs in a car. The Jack Russell terrier is the second dog to join this household.

The more dogs, the merrier, right? Sometimes.  🙂

Each pet family is different, so it’s awesome you’re thinking
through the decision of adding a second dog.

Dr. Melanie has always had two dogs, and she sees A LOT of
multiple dog families.

We asked her to share potential benefits — and
cons — of getting a second dog.

Plus, scroll down for her thoughts on good ages and genders for
a second dog, so you can choose well for your family.

Benefits of getting a second dog

  • You can double the fun and silly antics in your home.
  • Some dogs LIKE having a companion. If you have a
    nervous dog who suffers from separation anxiety, for
    example, a second dog in your home may help lower
    your first dog’s anxiety.
  • Younger dogs can become playmates for each other.
  • If your first dog is destructive from boredom, you
    may be able to redirect your dog’s energy, so the dogs
    entertain each other instead.
  • If you have kids, a second dog can make another good
  • One person can usually still walk two dogs. (Think
    about the size and strength you can handle.)
  • If your dogs are a few years apart, you’ll still have a
    furry friend when the other passes away.

Cons of getting a second dog

  • Two dogs take more time, even if they’re
    entertaining each other.
    Make sure you have enough
    time for one dog before considering a second dog.
  • Two dogs are a greater expense. Depending on the
    size and age of your dogs, you may be doubling your
    food, boarding, grooming and veterinary care bills.
  • Some dogs like to be the only dog. Not every dog
    wants a buddy. You may change the dynamic with your
    first dog.
  • If you travel a lot or know you’re going to deploy, it
    can be easier (and less expensive) to find care for one
    dog rather than two.
  • If someone in your home has allergies, you’ll need to
    look for an allergy-resistant dog.

Alpha personality and gender considerations
when adding a second dog

Dogs consider you their pack.

There are some dogs that have more of an alpha personality
than others. (It could be either a female dog or a male dog.)

Mixing the genders can help if you have a dog with a strong
alpha personality.

In this case, look for a second dog that is the opposite sex and is
more laid back and mellow.

Avoid getting two strong alpha personalities, and always have
them meet in a neutral place, so you can see how they interact.

(If one dog is physically aggressive to the other, this is not good.)

Before adding a second dog to your home, have them meet in a neutral place, like this park
Can dogs of the same gender get along together?

Our veterinarians have had personal experience mixing two male
dogs and two female dogs together. The dogs have done fine.

The key is to be in tune with each dog’s alpha tendencies.

Age considerations when getting a second dog

Generally speaking, there isn’t a “best age” to get a new dog, but
there are a few age considerations:

  • Avoid introducing a puppy if you have a geriatric
    . (Your dog is 10+ years.) It can be really taxing on
    your senior dog.
  • If you get a younger dog when your dog is 6-8 years
    , this may help keep your older dog acting more
  • If you’re getting two puppies from the same litter,
    make sure you spend time separately with each dog, so the
    dogs bond with you (and not just to each other).
    Otherwise, you may be treated as an outsider.

On that note, ANY TIME you’re getting a second dog, it’s always a good
idea to make sure you’re spending quality time with each dog
separately, so they bond with you.

Related articles:

We welcome new pet families

If you’re adopting a rescue dog, ask about our FREE 1st exam for rescue pets within 14 days of adoption.

Call our Castle Rock veterinarians at 303-688-3757 or:

Book your visit here 

Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.

This article is intended to provide general guidance on adding a second dog to your family. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian. (If you live in or around Castle Rock, we welcome your call: 303-688-3757.)

© 2020, Cherished Companions Animal Clinic, All Rights Reserved

What Is the Best Diet for Dogs? 5 Things to Consider

July 9th, 2019 by Cherished Companions

This spaniel chows down his kibble (he loves it) after his pet parent researched the best diet for dogs.

The best diet for dogs is a healthy diet, but

It can be really hard to figure out what a healthy diet is!

There’s a lot of confusing advertising about what your dog should be eating.


The Best Castle Rock Dog Parks

June 4th, 2019 by Cherished Companions

Two dogs are playing in a Castle Rock dog park.

Looking for local dog parks around Castle Rock, Colorado?

Scroll down for the best Castle Rock dog parks based on input from local families.


Choosing a Rescue Dog? Be Alert for Dogs With This Behavior

December 10th, 2018 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

Timid Dog

It’s the big day.

You’re ready to adopt your rescue dog. (Yayyyyy!)

All you need to do is choose one.


Adopting an Older Dog vs a Puppy: Pros and Cons

November 27th, 2018 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

Scooby, an adult dog, sits among the grasses.

Getting a dog will change your life!

To help you choose the best dog for your family, here are some pros and cons of adopting an older dog vs. a puppy.


How to Introduce a Second Cat or Kitten (With as Little Drama as Possible)

October 2nd, 2018 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

Jasmine is not excited to learn that her family is getting a second cat.

So, you’re getting ready to bring a second cat or kitten into your home…

Everyone is delighted about the new addition to your family… except your cat that already lives there.

Hiss, hiss, me-ooooow!

We know that feline World War III is not your idea of a good time. That’s why we’ve asked Dr. Ivy, one of our cat veterinarians, for guidance.

Here are her tips to help you bring a second cat or kitten into your home, so you can introduce your cats with as little drama as possible.


Intestinal Parasites in Colorado Cats: What You Need to Know

February 27th, 2018 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

Cinnamon, the cat, carefully watches a mouse. Cats that eat mice can get intestinal parasites.

If you’re wondering whether your cat has intestinal parasites, it’s best to start with two questions:

  • Is your cat a kitten or an adult?
  • What’s his or her lifestyle? (Does your cat spend time outdoors?)


Dog Parasites That Are Common in Colorado

January 30th, 2018 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

A blue heeler dog plays in a mountain lake.

What to know about giardia, roundworms, coccidia and tapeworms

Living in Castle Rock, Colorado, we don’t see as many cases of dog parasites as in other parts of the country.

Still, it’s definitely possible for your dog to get intestinal parasites here.

Our veterinarians typically see two cases of dog parasites per week.


Bringing Home a Shelter Cat: 8 Tips to Make the Transition Easier

September 12th, 2017 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

Allie lounges with the cat she recently brought home from the shelter.

So, you’re thinking about bringing home a shelter cat or kitten…

Congratulations! We hope your new kitty will make a wonderful addition to your family.

Here are 8 tips to make the transition easier for you and your feline friend.


Ear Mites in Cats: The Good, the Bad, and the Itchy

May 2nd, 2017 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

Simba, the cat, eyes the camera warily after scratching her ear.

First, the good news! Ear mites in cats are not as common in Colorado as in other parts of the country.

But, yes, your cat can still get them in the Castle Rock area.

We’ve put together some helpful information to introduce you to the wonderful world of ear mites in cats.

And if you live in Castle Rock or Denver, you’re always welcome to give our veterinarians a call: (303) 688-3757.


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