Having two dogs at once could seem like a lot of work, but there are a few reasons two dogs in one home—whether it’s two older dogs, or an older dog and a puppy—could have benefits for you and the dogs. Dogs can keep each other company, entertain each other, and learn from each other. Whether or not you should have two dogs depends on the environment you live in, your capacity to care for them, and how any pets already in your home would deal with additional dogs. Read on to learn the benefits of having two dogs and why two dogs could be better than one.
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They’ll Keep Each Other Entertained and Exercised
Playtime is vital to any dog’s health, happiness, socialization, and overall development—but it can take up a good chunk of your day. Depending on your dog’s age, size, breed, and energy level, you can spend anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours a day exercising him or her.
One easy (and cute) way to ensure your doggy is getting enough exercise? Adding a second dog to the mix. You’ll still have to spend some one-on-one time with each dog every day—it’s actually super important for their socialization and development—but they can keep each other exercised and entertained.
Plus, they’ll keep each other company when you’re at work, school, or out running errands, so they're less likely to resort to boredom-induced hijinks around the house. Everyone knows a bored dog is a mischievous dog, after all.Continue to 2 of 6 below.
02 of 06
Make Puppy Training Easier
It may be tough to teach an old dog new tricks, but an old dog can certainly teach a new dog some tricks—and the rules of their house. Dogs are pack animals and look to their pack leader for guidance, a role your older dog will naturally take on when you introduce a puppy to the family.
You might find puppy training is far easier with an older dog and a new pup—the puppy will look to his senior for guidance, and model his behavior after hers. Having an older dog can make potty training your puppy way easier, too. Why? Dogs tend to do their business where other dogs have already gone, so your puppy will probably poop in the same spots as your older dog.Continue to 3 of 6 below.
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Help Ease Separation Anxiety
Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety or feelings of intense anxiety that occur when they’re left alone. Although some dogs will simply grow out of their separation anxiety, some cases require extra attention and solutions, like specialized training, emotional therapy, or even medication.
Some dogs may appreciate a canine companion to help keep them calm and entertained while their owner is away. Separation anxiety is a complex problem, and for some dogs, an unfamiliar dog in their house will increase their anxiety rather than lessen it. Always consult with your veterinarian or behaviorist before making a big change for any dog with separation anxiety.Continue to 4 of 6 below.
04 of 06
Save a Second Life
One of the best reasons to have two dogs, rather than one, is simple: If you adopt two dogs, you’re saving two lives.
It’s estimated that a whopping 3.9 million dogs enter animal shelters each year—and 1.2 million of them are euthanized. You can directly impact (and save) the lives of dogs by giving them a safe, happy home. Plus, adopting dogs from your local animal shelter creates more space for other animals in need.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
It Doesn’t Cost That Much More
Good news for puppy parents: You can double your cuteness without doubling your finances. Aside from regular immunizations and check-ups, having two dogs at the same time doesn’t cost much more than having one.
Dogs can share many of their supplies, including toys, beds, grooming products, water bowls, larger bags of food, and treats. It is important to note that some puppy food is formulated differently than food for full-grown dogs, so talk to your vet about whether or not your pup and your older dog can share.Continue to 6 of 6 below.
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Double the Love
Why do most people add a second dog to the family? Their first dog brought so much love and joy into their homes, and they want more! There’s nothing better than coming home to a pet who loves you unconditionally—and you can double down on that love with a second furry family member.
Having two dogs can feel like a lot of work sometimes, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons. From easier training to better mental and emotional health (for you and your dogs!), to saving the lives of animals, there are so many solid reasons to adopt a second dog today.