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Are dogs happier in twos?

Adding a Second Dog to Your Family: Pros and Cons

Two dogs in a car. The Jack Russell terrier is the second dog to join this household.

Each pet family is different, so it’s awesome you’re thinking
through the decision of adding a second dog.

Dr. Melanie has always had two dogs, and she sees A LOT of
multiple dog families.

We asked her to share potential benefits — and
cons — of getting a second dog.

Plus, scroll down for her thoughts on good ages and genders for
a second dog, so you can choose well for your family.

Benefits of getting a second dog

  • You can double the fun and silly antics in your home.
  • Some dogs LIKE having a companion. If you have a
    nervous dog who suffers from separation anxiety, for
    example, a second dog in your home may help lower
    your first dog’s anxiety.
  • Younger dogs can become playmates for each other.
  • If your first dog is destructive from boredom, you
    may be able to redirect your dog’s energy, so the dogs
    entertain each other instead.
  • If you have kids, a second dog can make another good
  • One person can usually still walk two dogs. (Think
    about the size and strength you can handle.)
  • If your dogs are a few years apart, you’ll still have a
    furry friend when the other passes away.

Cons of getting a second dog

  • Two dogs take more time, even if they’re
    entertaining each other.
    Make sure you have enough
    time for one dog before considering a second dog.
  • Two dogs are a greater expense. Depending on the
    size and age of your dogs, you may be doubling your
    food, boarding, grooming and veterinary care bills.
  • Some dogs like to be the only dog. Not every dog
    wants a buddy. You may change the dynamic with your
    first dog.
  • If you travel a lot or know you’re going to deploy, it
    can be easier (and less expensive) to find care for one
    dog rather than two.
  • If someone in your home has allergies, you’ll need to
    look for an allergy-resistant dog.

Alpha personality and gender considerations
when adding a second dog

Dogs consider you their pack.

There are some dogs that have more of an alpha personality
than others. (It could be either a female dog or a male dog.)

Mixing the genders can help if you have a dog with a strong
alpha personality.

In this case, look for a second dog that is the opposite sex and is
more laid back and mellow.

Avoid getting two strong alpha personalities, and always have
them meet in a neutral place, so you can see how they interact.

(If one dog is physically aggressive to the other, this is not good.)

Before adding a second dog to your home, have them meet in a neutral place, like this park

Can dogs of the same gender get along together?

Our veterinarians have had personal experience mixing two male
dogs and two female dogs together. The dogs have done fine.

The key is to be in tune with each dog’s alpha tendencies.

Age considerations when getting a second dog

Generally speaking, there isn’t a “best age” to get a new dog, but
there are a few age considerations:

  • Avoid introducing a puppy if you have a geriatric
    . (Your dog is 10+ years.) It can be really taxing on
    your senior dog.
  • If you get a younger dog when your dog is 6-8 years
    , this may help keep your older dog acting more
  • If you’re getting two puppies from the same litter,
    make sure you spend time separately with each dog, so the
    dogs bond with you (and not just to each other).
    Otherwise, you may be treated as an outsider.

On that note, ANY TIME you’re getting a second dog, it’s always a good
idea to make sure you’re spending quality time with each dog
separately, so they bond with you.

Related articles:

  • Adopting an older dog versus a puppy: Pros and cons
  • 5 questions to ask before you adopt a pet in Castle Rock
  • Choosing a rescue dog? Be alert for dogs with this behavior

We welcome new pet families

If you’re adopting a rescue dog, ask about our FREE 1st exam for rescue pets within 14 days of adoption.

Call our Castle Rock veterinarians at 303-688-3757 or:

Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.

This article is intended to provide general guidance on adding a second dog to your family. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian. (If you live in or around Castle Rock, we welcome your call: 303-688-3757.)

© 2020, Cherished Companions Animal Clinic, All Rights Reserved

  • Posted in Dog Care, New Pets

Does My Dog Need A Friend?

Two dogs lay in green grass, panting with happy facial expressions.

Everyone needs a friend. After all, it’s good to have a companion who understands you and respects your needs. But does my dog need a friend? The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services with our friends at is here to help you answer that question.

Dogs belong to the Canidae family, i.e. the family of wolves and foxes. Fortunately, dogs are domesticated and social animals. They enjoy friendly interactions with familiar humans or other animals and tend to avoid isolation.

That being said, every dog is different has its own temperament and preferences. Some dogs prefer to live alone with their owners, while others prefer having another dog friend in the house. How can you decide if your particular dog would enjoy having another dog in the house? It starts with a little observation and research.

Does your dog need a friend? Let’s find out.

Getting a dog friend for your canine can sound like an awesome idea, but it can sometimes lead to aggression and physical injuries if it isn’t a good fit. Surprisingly, despite being the friendliest of animals, dogs don’t always get along with other dogs easily.

Like humans, dogs can be really picky about choosing their roommate or companion. Before you decide to get a new dog, ask yourself a few questions

1. Does my dog like the company of other dogs?

If your dog enjoys human company, it doesn’t mean he will enjoy another dog’s company as well. It has been reported that domestic dogs raised separately and independently do not get along with other dogs like those that have been well-socialized since puppyhood.

Hence, if your dog gets aggressive or anxious in the presence of other dogs, you might reconsider adopting another dog as a companion for him.

2. How does my dog behave when other dogs visit my home?

Sometimes your dog shows no signs of resentment and aggression when interacting with other dogs on a walk or at the park. But, if the same dog were to visit your home and play with your dog’s toy, it might upset him. This would show whether your dog needs a friend or companion.

3. Does your dog seem depressed after a play date?

One thing that can indicate whether your dog might enjoy having a companion is how your dog reacts the day after a play date. If he seems cool and laid back, then he’s probably fine on his own. If he seems a bit off and depressed, you may want to look into getting another dog as he misses that social time with a canine friend.

4. Does gender matter when selecting your dog’s friend?

Gender compatibility matters the most while choosing a new dog for your pup. Watch your dog when he is around other dogs. Does he get along better with males or females?

Your dog may not want another male in the household but would be okay with a female, or vice versa. Most veterinarians suggest choosing the opposite gender whose size is not more than 50 percent different.

5. Does your dog’s personality complement the other dog’s personality?

Matching personalities and temperaments plays a vital role in choosing a new friend for your dog. A dog whose personality matches and compliments the other dog will get along well over one whose personality competes with your dog’s. Imagine living with someone whose personality annoys you.

Does My Dog Need a Friend?

If the answer to all of these questions points in favor of a new companion, get your canine a new friend, and he’ll love it. If the signs are against it, take it seriously and don’t dishearten your dog by getting him an unwanted friend.

Tips and Tricks to Developing Friendly Canine Relations

A. Keep The Dogs Isolated for a Few Weeks:

No matter how friendly the dogs may seem, you need to keep them separated for a few weeks to help them understand their boundaries. Early habits last the longest and dogs need some time alone with their belongings just like humans. In order to do this, feed them in different corners of the room with different colored food bowls. And keep their dog beds and mats separated. Give them different toys to play with. And once they know they each have their own space and time, they won’t feel as threatened by each other.

B. Be their Pack Leader

Dogs are pack animals and they live in hierarchical packs. If a dog is alone and the only pet, it won’t lead to many problems. If there are two dogs, one will likely try to establish dominance over the other and things can get out of hand. So, as head of the pack, maintain your position as their pack leader and both canines will follow you.

C. Supervise the Dogs

Don’t leave the dogs home alone on their own at first. Supervise their actions and body posture to avoid any fights.

D. Maintain Equality

Your current dog will have to adjust to not being the only dog. Don’t make it more difficult by paying more attention to the new dog. Always maintain equality in your interactions with the dogs so one or the other doesn’t feel left out.

E. Patience is the Key

Even if the situation is a little rough, the dogs will eventually learn to accept each other’s presence. They may adjust quickly or take months to get along due to the difference in personalities.

Let the dogs take time to get to know each other well. In the meantime, take them on long walks and introduce them to new activities together to build a friendly relationship. Or, if personalities truly clash, give each space from the other.

All in all, be consistent and let each dog know that you love them equally.

This blog is contributed by Pet Name Generator from

Two Dogs Are Better Than One: The Pros and Cons of Adopting a Second Dog

Tips for Owning Two Dogs

Tips for Owning Two Dogs

When it comes to owning a dog, many people think that one is enough. After all, it’s a lot of work caring for an animal and feeding them, not to mention taking them on walks and exercising them. But what if you could split all of that work in half by adopting another dog? That’s an appeal of having two dogs – they keep each other company and can play together while you’re away at work.

In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of having two dogs and help you decide if it’s the right decision for you and your family.

Dogs are Pack Animals

Dogs are pack animals, and as such, they crave companionship. When you’re at work all day or out of the house running errands, your dog is left home alone with nothing to do. This can lead to boredom and mischief – like chewing on furniture or raiding the trash. A second dog gives your first dog a companion to play with and keep them amused, which can help prevent destructive behavior.

Helping Each Other Get More Exercise

There is a popular saying in the dog world “a good dog is a tired dog”. This is because dogs need a lot of exercise to stay healthy and happy. If you have one dog, that means devoting at least an hour every day to taking them for a walk or playing with them. But if you have two dogs, they can tire each other out. Dogs will often play games together, such as tug-of-war, chase, and much more. These games are great stimulation for your furry friend and can be a great way for them to exercise.

Your Dog has a Playmate 24/7

One of the best things about having two dogs is that your dog always has a playmate. If you work long hours or travel often, it can be difficult to find someone to take care of your dog. But if you have another dog at home, they can always keep each other company. This also means that your dog won’t get as lonely when you’re away and will be less likely to develop separation anxiety.

Dog Playmates

Helps Ease Separation Anxiety

Speaking of separation anxiety, a second dog can also help ease that anxiety. Dogs are social animals and love companionship. When they’re left alone for long periods of time, they can become anxious and stressed. But if they have another dog to keep them company, that separation anxiety is greatly reduced.

Training is Easier with Two Dogs

Puppies often learn from older dogs. This means that they learn tasks like potty training and basic commands much faster when they have an older dog to model themselves after.

Double the Love Not Double the Cost

Many people are hesitant to adopt a second dog because they assume it will be twice the work and twice the money. But the truth is, owning two dogs doesn’t have to be more work – in fact, it can often be easier. And as for the cost, it will cost more money than one but not twice the amount. This is because dogs will often share toys, beds, etc.

Allergy Benefits for Children

A study conducted by the National Institute of Health found that children raised in multi-pet households before the age of one may be less prone to developing allergies.

Things to Consider Before Making the Decision

Multi-dog ownership isn’t for every family and isn’t for every dog. Below we will talk about some things to consider before making the decision.

Analyze the cost of an additional furry friend

Be sure to analyze the cost of adding an additional dog to your family. Only do so if you believe it makes financial sense for you. Though adding a second dog doesn’t double the total cost of the first dog because of some of the shared expenses, you will have around double the vet bills over time as a single dog family.

Consider the dog’s age

Experts believe that the best time to add a second dog is in the first 2 to 3 years of age of the first dog. Some have found that older dogs are not as excited about adding a young energetic puppy to the family. However, it is a total case-by-case basis for your dog and particular circumstances. Consider your dog’s age and temperament before making the decision.

Some dogs prefer to be the only dog

Some dogs do not want a companion or fellow dog friend. Some dogs would prefer to be in a one-dog household. If you have a dog who falls into this category, it is important to not add another dog to the mix. Doing so would only further stress your dog and could result in behavior problems.

Dog Ownership

Some dogs and breeds are very territorial

Dogs who are very territorial and protective of their home and family may not do well with another dog in the house. If your dog barks, growls, or becomes aggressive when other people or animals come near them, it may not be best to not add a second dog to the equation.

Consider the genders of your first dog and potential second dog

Experts recommend adopting a second dog of the opposite sex of your first dog. This is because dogs of the same sex can often become too competitive with each other and may start to fight. Adding a second dog of the opposite sex can help reduce the risk of this behavior.

Do some research on breeds that get along well together

Not all breeds of dogs are made to get along together. If you’re considering adding a second dog to your family, do some research on breeds that typically do well together. This will help ensure that both of your dogs have a positive relationship from the start.


Adding a second dog to your family can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Not only will you have another furry friend to love and play with, but you will also see your first dog’s behavior improve as they now have someone to play-fight with and look up to. Just be sure to do your research before making the decision and take into account all of the factors we discussed above.

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