Getting a Second Dog to Keep the First Company

They say the only thing better than having a dog is having two dogs! So after some time planning, you finally decided to expand the pack and get another dog. Your children and spouse agree to this, but will your first pooch consent?

Getting a second dog means more responsibilities, but it can also help enrich your own family. We will help you learn why two dogs are better than one, and how your dog may feel about another dog. Find out whether getting a second dog to keep the first company is a good idea.

Read our top tips for helping your old and new furry friends to get along with each other! 

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getting a second dog

Do Dogs Need Another Dog?

We know that dogs are pack animals, but do dogs necessarily need fellow canine friends? The answer is that they can actually live with or without other dogs unless they have behavioral issues that require a companion.

We are already our dog’s pack, so we can say that dogs do not require another dog in the house. This, however, does not mean that you shouldn’t get a new dog for the family! It’s perfectly fine to get another dog in the household as long as you’re committed to training them and caring for them. 

In fact, a new dog can help when the pack is always at work or not at home! A new dog can also help with hyperactivity, feeding problems, and training

Why Are Two Dogs Better Than One?

There are endless reasons for this! Of course, dogs bring so much joy and entertainment to our lives. They are loyal, funny, and part of the family! Consider the following benefits and you’ll be convinced to add another furry member to the crew.

More Exercise

Dogs need 30 minutes to two hours a day of exercise, depending on their breed and size. It is an important part of their routine because it affects their health, mental stimulation, socialization, and overall development. 

Adding a second pup to the family will ensure that both of them will get enough exercise and entertainment. Their playtimes and walks will become more productive especially if they enjoy each other’s company.

Let them stay outdoors, give them some toys, and they will surely come back inside feeling tired but fulfilled!

Easier Training

An old dog can certainly teach a new dog some tricks and the rules of the house. This is because they are pack animals who seek others’ guidance. Your older dog will enjoy being a pack leader to them!

For instance, potty training your puppy can be more convenient with an older dog because dogs love to do their business when other dogs have already gone, so your puppy may defecate in the same spots as the older dog.  

Save Two Lives!

introducing a second dog

Most importantly, a second dog is great because having two dogs means saving two lives. Millions of pooches are stuck in animal shelters every year, and some of them get euthanized.

One way you can help is by giving at least one of them a safe and happy home, leaving more shelter space for those pups in need. 

Will Getting Another Dog Help My Dog Calm Down?

When left alone, dogs may suffer from intense anxiety whether it is mild or severe. Some even have to go through emotional therapy or be medicated just to feel alright again. 

One way to reduce this feeling, especially when you’re always out and about, is to get a second dog. They will keep each other company while you’re away and provide each other with support, attention, and someone to play with. 

A new dog can also keep your dog calm from hyperactivity! The key to managing over-excitement in dogs is exercise. A game of fetch, socialization between the two, and a bit of training will stimulate them physically and mentally, leaving no energy for unnecessary and destructive activities.

The two pups can also keep each other occupied instead of barking at guests and bothering other people. Remember, it may seem that the hyperactivity only becomes worse, but it only lasts for fewer periods as their tiredness and calmness takes in! 

Despite this benefit, the first dog can sometimes just “pass” the fear, anxiety, or over-excitement on to the second dog, so you have to consider other measures to work on the behavioral issue rather than relying solely on the help of your new fur baby.

When Should You Get Another Dog?

Just like with having another child, there are some challenges that might make you consider getting a new dog! Ask yourself the following to determine whether it’s time to get a new pooch or not.

  • Is your current dog already well trained and well behaved? Or are they too aggressive that the new pup’s safety may be at risk?
  • Do you have enough time to train and socialize the two dogs? Or are you too busy to deal with that?
  • Is your family okay with getting a new dog? Will they be able to cope with double cleaning, additional spending, and extra training?

Does Gender Matter When Adopting a Second Dog?

Yes, it does. The general rule is for the dog to be of the opposite sex. This is because two male or two female dogs can cause conflict. Even if it seems that they’re fine with each other at first, changes in the pack order can cause fights and aggression.

A male and female dog will be better since one can be the alpha male, while the other asserts herself as the top female. This, however, will require spaying and neutering!

How Will Your Current Dog Feel?

current dog

Many dog parents get another dog to keep the first dog company. It is exciting, at least for humans, to have others around us.

However, this should not be the only factor to consider when adopting a new furry fellow. Just because dogs are social pack animals doesn’t mean they get along with everyone.

Many dogs will get along with other fellow-creatures, but it doesn’t always happen instantly. Your first dog may feel displaced, jealous, and even territorial. They may not enjoy when the other dog shares food, toys, and even humans. 

Studies show that dogs are capable of jealousy, although the emotion is not as complex as what humans experience. Although dogs’ feelings cannot be fully comprehended, it was obvious in the experiment that they were motivated to protect important social relationships.

Also, puppies are just learning how to communicate. They don’t know the rules yet when it comes to interacting with older and different dogs so this can hinder the start of a new friendship. 

With proper training and socialization, all these issues can be resolved. The adult dog will soon become your pup’s role model by teaching them all the social skills they need to learn.

How Do You Introduce a Second Dog?

Once you’ve already adopted your second dog, the introduction at home is up to you but you can follow these steps to avoid any issues.

  1. Keep both dogs on leashes by your side and take note of their body language.
  2. Wait until both of them calm down. If they both seem happy then let the calmer one approach the other dog. 
  3. Dogs sniff nose to nose then nose to rear. Pay close attention to them. If one growls or tries to put their head above the other dog’s shoulder, say “no” and separate the pair. Repeat this process.
  4. If no signs of aggression occur, allow them to interact naturally as long as you monitor them. Hold the leashes high in the air so the dogs can circle each other and not get tangled.  
  5. If they start to play, or your dog walks back towards you without caring about the other dog, you have the “green light” from your family dog.
  6. Let the dogs off-leash and pay attention to their interactions. 

Watch this video for more information!

Tips for Successfully Adding Another Dog to Your Family

Here are some top tips to guarantee a successful transition period!

  • Separate the dogs with gates or crates when they are left alone to prevent unwanted altercations.
  • Fighting will usually be because of food. Avoid free-feeding them. Feed twice a day and separate them at first.
  • Monitor them when giving them bones and treats. It’s better to give them these items when they’re separated. When the dogs have more trust in your leadership, and you have trust in them, then begin monitoring “chew time” when the dogs are in the same room together. Never leave bones or rawhides unattended! For most dogs, this is a fight waiting to happen.
  • Make sure to give both dogs individual attention, just as you would with your children. 
  • Learn about body languages like lip curls, ears back, tails held high, and many more so you’ll do better in monitoring their interactions.

Is Getting a Second Dog to Keep the First Company Smart?

Having two dogs is always better for the family, as long as you have the time, patience, and money to train and take care of them. Most especially, you should be prepared for sibling-like rivalries, messier playtimes, and double effort in cleaning up after them!

By giving them equal attention, monitoring their interaction, and a proper introduction, your two furry fellows will surely be the best of friends for years to come!