Bringing Home a Second Dog
Bringing home a second dog can be both heartwarming and heartbreaking. I highly recommend having two dogs over just one - it can be twice the fun. However there are several things one must consider before bringing home the second dog and making that lifetime commitment.
1. Don't assume that because your dog is friendly at the park he will welcome a second dog into your home. Do be sure your dog is accepting of other dogs in his home by inviting some of his canine companions over for a playdate.
2. If you are bringing home an older dog, introduce your first dog to the older dog on neutral grounds before signing the papers.
3. Don't assume your landlord will let you have two dogs. If you don't own a home, do make certain with your landlord that the addition of a second pet is acceptable.
4. Think carefully whether you want to bring home a new puppy or an older, already trained dog. New puppies are a lot of work and very demanding on your life in general for the first few months.
5. Make sure you have the finances to spend on both dogs.
6. If you are bringing home a new grown dog and you have children, make sure the new dog is friendly towards children.
7. Buy a separate crate for the new dog. Do not kennel them together
8. Feed the dogs out of separate bowls to avoid fighting.
9. Don't leave the new dog out alone unattended with your dog for some time after bringing him home. DO be sure each dog knows his place in your pack before trusting your dogs by themselves. This may take several weeks.
10. DO be extra courteous to your neighbors by picking up after your dogs. Don't let your dogs run loose in their yards.
11. Train your dogs separately, and schedule playtime together.
12. Make sure you have a special place, like a crate, for each dog to rest and escape the company of the other dog if they so desire.
13. Most importantly, be sure to keep the routine of your first dog constant and incorporate the new dog into his routine. If you take your old dog running in the evenings, stick to that activity even if your new dog can't come along yet. Your old dog will still look forward to your time together even though he has a new friend.
14. Don't get a new dog to keep your old dog occupied. If your dog suffers from boredom, chances are you will eventually have two dogs suffering from boredom. Do schedule regular play time with your dog, and exercise him daily.
15. DON'T buy your new companion from a pet store. These dogs are poorly bred, raised in scary conditions, and come with a host of genetic and behavioral problems. DO Adopt a dog from the local shelter, contact a rescue organization of your favorite breed, or locate a serious breeder.
If you do decide to bring home dog#2, good for you. You will have twice the love and twice the fun.