So you think you want to get a second dog? While the thought of another furry friend running around sounds like all smiles and rainbows, there are a few things to consider before jumping in and bringing home pup number two. Once you’ve considered these points and made a rational decision, then you’ll know you’re bringing your newest addition to the family into a loving and prepared environment.

1. Think about the temperament of your current dog

david-taffet-563063-unsplashIs your current dog a young, rambunctious puppy that already takes up all of your time? Is he an elderly pup that requires extra care and may not like his way of life interrupted? Does he get along with other dogs, or does he get aggressive? These may seem like obvious questions, but when we fixate on the excitement of getting a new dog it’s easy to forget that he or she will have to fit in with your current pup’s lifestyle. If your first dog requires extensive care, a second dog will only mean more work that you may not have time for. It’s also important to keep the safety of both dogs in mind – if your current dog is aggressive towards other furry friends, it’s probably best he remain solo. But, if you have a kind pup at home who could use a friend, then considering a second dog is a great idea!

2. A second dog will not “fix” your first dog

If your current dog has behavioral issues and you think getting a second dog will help him learn, be wary. Dogs don’t tend to teach each other things that humans teach them, like obedience cues and not to have accidents in the house. They will, however, often pick up on each other’s vices. This doesn’t mean adding a second pup to your family will turn them both into scoundrels, it just means you should be confident in the training and manners of your first dog before you bring a second one home.

3. Put your money where your mouth is

angelina-litvin-39774-unsplash Seriously. A second dog means twice the vet bills, twice the food, twice the messes that you’ll need to use cleaning products to get out. In a perfect world, the love and joy a new pup brings to your life wouldn’t cost a dime. But unfortunately the reality is that a second dog can be quite expensive. For the dog’s sake and the sake of your wallet, be honest with yourself and make sure you can afford your new furry family member before bringing him home. Hopefully now you have a clearer idea as to whether or not bringing a new pup into your family is a good move. If you’re ready for a second dog, get excited! If you think you should in fact stick with just one, don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to play with more pups. Volunteering as a dog walker at your local shelter is a great place to start!