“Does my dog need a friend?” Everyone who has a dog has also asked this question at one point or another—usually when looking down at that sad look of betrayal on their dog’s face that comes up every time they have to leave for work or school.
You might think that adopting a companion for your dog will help them cope with boredom and keep them from getting lonely while you’re away. But adding another pet to your household is not a decision to take lightly. Before you commit to adoption, ask yourself these five questions first.
1: Can I Afford It?
Looking at your budget is the first place to start when you’re thinking about adding a new dog to the mix. As you know, there are many different expenses that go into caring for a dog, from food and toys to vet visits and grooming. While it may not seem like a stretch now, taking a close look at your finances is always a good thing to do before bringing another dog home.
2: Am I Ready for a Second Dog?
Taking on another pet is a big decision. The addition of extra exercise, toothbrushing, training, and caring for another dog will mean some major changes to your schedule. If you ever struggle to find enough time to provide the exercise and attention your current dog needs, it is unreasonable to assume that another dog will set the balance right.
3: Could I Handle the Worst Case Scenario?
Another big thing to consider is what you would do if a fight broke out between your dogs. Are you physically and emotionally able to handle the situation, either before (prevention), during (while keeping yourself safe), and after (teeth are sharp, there might be blood)?
Just like people, it is not guaranteed that dogs will always get along with each other. While putting in the time, research, and training to prevent fights will help mitigate the possibility, it is important to be prepared.
4: Does My Dog Get Enough Stimulation?
Play and exercise are essential for dogs. We are their whole world—they can’t just turn on the TV when they get bored. Making sure your dog gets enough exercise, mental stimulation, and love and affection daily help prevent boredom and loneliness. However, dogs do need companionship, some more than others. If your dog gets plenty of attention but still seems in need of company, they might like to have a canine friend.
5: Does My Dog Like Other Dogs?
While some dogs who live together do play together, many merely coexist. While some dogs rock it at the park, on walks, and on playdates with other dogs, they might not enjoy having other dogs around at home.
Carefully monitoring your dog when you invite your friends and their dogs over will help you determine if your dog likes having other dogs around or if it is just too much stress for them. If your dog is unable to share or is grumpy with visitors, perhaps a second dog is not for you.
Vet Care for Every Pet in Gilbert
Whether you have one dog, two dogs, or even more; here at East Valley Animal Hospital your pets are in expert hands. We love all dogs, and will help you make sure that yours live a long and happy life with, or without, a canine companion. We offer a wide array of services from well-pet checkups, to dental examinations. Call us today to schedule an appointment.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use. Photo by Alvan Nee on Unsplash.