If you’ve recently welcomed a new puppy into your home, you’re no doubt already wondering how you ever lived without a dog in your life. Dogs are not only new additions to your family but also make the greatest companions. As your relationship blossoms with your first dog, the thought may have crossed your mind to get one more. And it can be really tempting to consider expanding your canine family straight away. So, how long should you wait before getting another dog? Read on to learn our advice and the things to remember before you do so.
Take the time to think it through
Multi-dog households bring many pleasures (when it goes right), but it’s not always smooth sailing! There are so many things to consider when deciding to add a second dog to your household. This includes the developmental stage of your current dog or puppy and how comfortable they feel around other dogs. And not to forget, the time and financial commitments the new dog will bring. All these factors will impact how long you should wait before getting another dog.
Our young puppies experience many developmental changes in their lives. In particular, as they move towards adolescence and adulthood. They might become more confident and even to the point of being more difficult to handle. Or, they might go through a secondary fear and anxiety phase. Anxiety in dogs is common, as they have to adapt to so many different changes. Not only adapting to the life around them but also the hormonal and cognitive changes their bodies are experiencing. Natural remedies for dog anxiety are a great help but if you can, it’s best to tackle the issue from the start before it develops into a problem.
The dream scenario when you add a new puppy into a young dog’s home is that the original dog will now have a playmate and companion for when you go out. However, with the developmental changes they’re going through, adapting can be difficult. They might find it hard sharing your attention as well as their resources such as toys, beds, and food. To avoid this, it’s important you ensure your original dog is not left out. The attention and affection you give should be equal for both.
Age gaps and their difference
Many often think that two dogs won’t be much more work than one. But unfortunately, it’s not as simple as taking them both for a walk at the same time. How much exercise puppies need compared to more mature dogs will differ. Younger pups need a limited length of walks, whereas your current dog might enjoy longer adventures. It’s also important in multi-dog households to make sure each dog is comfortable going for a solo walk with you. They also need to get used to spending time home alone without their other canine companions. So now walks might take up twice as much time!
Puppy house training
From a puppy house training perspective, adding a second dog into the home of a younger dog is important to bare in mind. It will help determine how long you should wait before getting another dog. Have you got your current dog’s focus in the outside world? Will they walk calmly on the lead and return to you when off-the-lead? Trying to resolve recall challenges with a confident adolescent while also training a new puppy is a big job. You’ll be taking on puppy house training as well as teaching them to feel good in the outside world.
If you haven’t yet had any success in training up your first dog, the chances are you aren’t ready to get a second. Puppies tend to imitate their older companions. So if your dog is anxious and tends to bark a lot around other dogs, your puppy could grow up to do the same. Therefore you should take care of both puppy house training and outdoor training for your original dog first.
The financial costs
It’s easy to say that the price doesn’t matter when you get a new dog because of all the joy they’ll bring. But financially, you need to be prepared. It’s not only the extra cost of purchasing a new dog or paying a rescue center’s fee, but also double the insurance, food, vets, and training costs. You’ll need to double up on toys and beds, leads, and harnesses. So it’s not just time that a second dog requires, but an extra financial investment. In this case, how long you should wait before getting another dog will come down to your financial situation.
If your current dog isn’t feeling confident in an area of their life, be mindful that bringing in another dog isn’t always the solution. Many people choose to add a second dog as company for their first dog who suffers from separation anxiety. This is in the hope that it will magically fix this challenge. However, most of the time this is not the case. A dog’s emotional stress around alone time is due to being separated from you, their caregiver.
If your dog suffers from separation anxiety it’s worth trying natural remedies for dogs anxiety, such as Scullcap & Valerian Tablets or a Valerian Compound. These naturally reduce your pet’s stress or anxiety with no drowsiness.
A fulfilling experience
Living with multiple dogs can be so rewarding and wonderful to see their relationships develop. When they play together or curl up on the same bed, it’s heart warming to watch. But not every new canine relationship goes to plan. So if you’re considering adding a second dog into your home, it’s important to really think about whether your household is ready. It’s always best to prepare in advance to make sure it all goes to plan.
We hope our advice has answered your thought about how long you should wait before getting another dog. If there are any topics in this blog that you need more help with, such as puppy house training or anxiety, speak to us! At Dorwest Herbs, we are herbal experts with a passion for all dogs and pets. We offer a range of herbal pet supplements that only use high-quality natural ingredients.
Written by Caroline Wilkinson, Certified Animal Behaviourist & qualified dog trainer