If you’re a dog lover that currently has one dog, it’s only natural that you’ll get to a point where you wonder if you should adopt a second dog. If adopting one dog is great, then adopting two is even better, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. While it can be a good idea to add a second dog to your family, there are some things you need to consider before driving to the nearest rescue shelter.

Adopting a second dog can be great because your current furry friend will always have company, both dogs will tire each other out, and will make socialization easier. However, having two means you’ll have more bills to pay, more work taking care of them, a messier house and, there’s also a risk of aggression. Some families can benefit a lot from adopting a second dog, while others don’t benefit as much and can even be harmful. In this post, you’ll find out some things you need to ensure before making a final decision.

1. Everyone in the household wants a second dog

Unless you live alone with your dog, it’s important to check if everyone else in the household is on board when it comes to adopting a second dog. Otherwise, it’s not a good idea to go through with it. Having two dogs is a lot of responsibility and everyone will play a role in keeping them healthy, safe, and well trained. So if not everyone agrees, it can end up feeling like a burden more than a joy.

Don’t forget to also take your dog into consideration. Do you think your dog will enjoy having another dog around all the time? Will your dog be happy sharing the spotlight and cuddles with a second dog? When we say that everyone in the household should be included in this decision, we’re also including your current dog.

Finally, if you’re renting your house, it might be a good idea to check with your landlord if there’s a limit to how many pets you’re allowed to have in the house. So make sure you check beforehand.

2. Your dog gets along with other dogs

We mentioned this briefly but it’s still important to dive deeper into this. There’s no point in thinking about getting a second dog if your current dog does not get along with other dogs or if you’re unsure of it.

If you don’t know whether or not your dog is social with other dogs, that means you need to let your dog interact and socialize with others to find out. If you know your dog isn’t a big fan of others of the same species, then getting a second dog won’t solve anything and will only be a problem.

Dogs are naturally social and pack animals that live well in groups but there are some exceptions and this doesn’t mean that all dogs will get along with each other. Even if your dog likes to hang out with others of its kind, keep in mind that it doesn’t mean it will get along with any dog. It’s one thing to be social with dogs in the dog park but it’s another to live 24/7 with a second dog. If you decide to go ahead, be sure to find a second dog that is a good match and make proper supervised introductions when bringing it home.


3. You have the financial ability to support a second dog

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, getting a second dog also means that you’ll have more bills to pay. Although it may not mean twice the cost, you will have to spend more on dog food, supplies, toys, vet bills, and be ready for any emergency costs. Besides the basic costs of owning a dog, you may also need to consider training classes and grooming. 

If you don’t have the budget for a second dog or you’re not willing to cut back on other areas in order to accommodate for a second dog, then that means you should put that idea aside. Otherwise, if you’ve evaluated your family’s budget and concluded you have the financial ability to support a second dog, then there are two more things to consider before the final decision.

4. You have enough time and energy to take care of two dogs

Being a dog owner requires a lot of time and energy. Adopting a second dog means you’ll need even more time and energy to care for both of them. Of course, there’s a lot you can outsource such as grooming and some of the walking. But there are some things that you still need to do yourself, otherwise, why would you adopt them?

Even if you won’t be the one doing everything alone, it’s important that everyone in the house is ready to spend some extra time and energy caring for both dogs. So if you’re struggling or at the edge of your abilities to care for one dog, adopting a second one is not a great idea. Otherwise, if everyone is willing to put in the extra time and energy into caring, playing, loving, and training a second dog, there’s only one last thing to consider.


5. There’s enough space in your house for two dogs

There’s no question that two dogs take up more space in the house than only one dog. That means that to adopt a second dog you’ll need to have the extra space for it. If you don’t have enough space for your family to live comfortably with two dogs then either give up on the idea of adopting a second dog or move into a bigger house.

Your house needs to be big enough so both dogs can sleep, eat and play without being on top of each other the whole time. If, after assessing the space you have available, you notice you have enough for a second dog, go for it!

Making sense of it all

Many dog owners end up adopting a second dog based on an emotional and impulsive decision, simply because they assume that two dogs must be better than one. However, this decision can backfire as there’s a lot that dog owners need to take into consideration before embracing a second furry family member.

If, after considering all the points above, you come to the conclusion that you have everything you need to adopt a second dog, it’s time to look for the perfect fit. Remember, that not all dogs are alike and it’s important to choose one that fits your family, lifestyle, and gets along with your current dog.