It’s funny, the first time my partner and I made the decision to bring a dog into our lives it was easy — well, at least for me. I grew up with dogs, wrote every day about them, and we had just moved to a two-story home, so I was set on getting a dog.
That was over three years ago, and as I write this, my dork of an American Bulldog mix is snoring loudly into my ear as he’s propped up against me. And while he’s a puppy in my heart, he’s not really one in other aspects, especially weight. Though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love some 80lb cuddles.
So we’ve been thinking about getting a new puppy and honestly, I’m scared out of my mind this time. So I put my research skills to good use, devoured the internet, and asked everyone I knew with multiple dogs what it takes. Here’s what I found.
The first question to ask yourself isn’t if you’re ready, but is your dog ready? For us this was an easy answer — he was. But this actually put more pressure on us to get a second dog because we felt guilty ours wasn’t getting the companionship he needed. As you’ll come to see, we’ve decided a second dog isn’t for us right now.
As well, you want to make sure your pup is healthy and happy, they’re up to date on their shots and checkups, have the toys, tags, and attention they need.
Now is the time to work out behavioral issues such as aggression, barking too much, and anxiety with fireworks and storms. With a few tips and calming dog treats, it’s easy to train a puppy not to give a lick about loud noises, but if there is an anxious dog already in the house then kiss this goodbye.
This one wasn’t a deal breaker, but it definitely made us pause. Of course, a new dog is going to take up space in the house. But unlike the first dog, it’s not so much them getting in your way that’s the problem — OK, it is a good bit. But another issue is … *drumroll*… your furniture. Our place fits a lovely two-person one-dog couch. To change that would mean a bigger couch, rearranging everything in the room, and less space.
If you find yourself complaining about not having space, you’ll want to hold off on getting another dog. Because even with a small breed, they’re going to want to play and run around the house. Plus, you now have to find space for two crates, two dog beds, two food bowls, and it just keeps building up.
The future always comes up when you’re thinking about getting a new dog. When deciding the first time whether we should get a dog, I thought we should because it was the next step in our relationship. But this time it would end up hurting us as we plan to move across country soon. Taking one dog across the country sounds difficult — let alone trying it with two.
Maybe you want to have a kid soon, or you’re looking to change jobs. Having multiple dogs means more work in a lot of ways. What’s nice is your first pupper has a new brother or sister to spend time with, and they can get their energy out together. But then there will be times when they both need your attention, and pun intended, it’s ruff.
Money, money, money, money…money! You’ll want to ask yourself these amazingly fun questions.
- Can you afford the worst case scenario — both dogs get sick and have medicals bills in the thousands?
- Is your car big enough for two dogs?
- Can you afford to pay twice the amount for food, tags, toys, vet bills, fees, etc.?
- If you’re shopping for a new place, can you afford a decent-sized yard?
There are a lot of things you have to think about, and that’s my biggest advice, actually. Don’t just willy-nilly go and get a second dog because you already have one. Rethink about all the ways it can affect you, and you’ll want to think about it harder than you did the first time.
Because if you’re like me, you can check off 99 reasons it’s time, but then you’ll find one negative, and it changes everything. It’s OK to wait.