Family planning 101: every parent asks the question…are two better than one? Now let’s take the thought and apply it to dogs.
Dogs or kids… most experts will say “it depends.” Depends on your lifestyle, your space, family income, commitment, and your current pup’s temperament, even. There may be other considerations, but we will focus on these key factors in our blog post.
My husband and I have a somewhat busy lifestyle. We work full-time in the financial service industry, travel at least twice a year, and we like to go out on weekends. Outside of work, we make sure to plan our vacations and weekends around our boys, Dior & Obi-Wan. We started out with our older Maltese, Dior, as the only pup. Although he had a dog walker visit him twice a day, he was mostly alone at home. While I was stuck at work, I would watch him howl and pace on the webcam. That was a key deciding factor for us to add Obi to our family. Best decision ever! The sad looking lonely boy Dior is yesterday’s news. We still keep an eye over our boys during the day. With Obi to keep him company, Dior is a happy confident fellow who greets us with a wag instead of desperate bark at the door. Now this rationale may not apply to a home with a stay-at-home adult or people who prefer daycare.
- Pros: Our 10 year old Dior is more active and content with Obi to keep him company. The stress and guilt of leaving one pup home alone has also reduced significantly. The boys play, eat, and nap together.
- Cons: Two pups means more expenses. Food, pet insurance, travel expenses, etc. will almost double. Your pet care expenses such as wellness checks, dental cleaning, etc. will also double.
Some people have had a very positive experience adding a second dog to the family “pack.” Other folks, especially pet owners whose dogs don’t get along, wish they’d left well enough alone. When we decided to add Obi to our family of three, our older pup was 7 years old. Dior is such a mellow little dude, always gets along with people and dogs alike. For us, it was very important that the new puppy had a personality to compliment Dior’s. We researched different breeds, not to mention the puppy’s sex (boy vs. girl) before going with Obi. It may not be as easy if the resident pup has temperament or health issues. By the way, did you know that girl dogs tend to be alpha in most relationships? Two female dogs thrust together often cannot establish a stable pack order. Not that our little Obi is any less alpha, but a bossy baby girl would have run circles around Dior. There’s also the size to consider! If there’s a tremendous size disparity between the two dogs, you’ll need to take precautions to prevent the bigger dog from accidentally injuring the smaller dog.
My husband and I are big advocates of traveling with our boys whenever we can. We believe bringing our boys along on trips tends to benefit their socialization and behavior. It’s also peace of mind for us to not leave them with strangers. In fact, we often travel abroad with our boys! However, travel is definitely easier with one pup, plus boarding one pup vs. two is less wallet pinching. Food wise, we haven’t seen much difference considering we mostly prepare their meals at home (of course we add supplements, psh!) Just how much can a small 7 pound pup eat? Now if you were to add a big breed to your family, food expense will be another consideration.
Obviously, adding another dog to the family isn’t a decision to take lightly. I strongly suggest thinking it through before arriving at the right decision for your family, your current dog, and the new pup. If resources of time, energy, and money are not an issue, then two dogs can be a great arrangement. Our experience with two pooches has been a very positive one.
Have you taken on a second (or even third?!) pup in the family? Tell us your experience in the comments!
Hi! I’m Gauri! I joke that I live two lives: one as a boring finance professional by day and a crazy dog mom/photographer/fashion blogger/avid traveler after hours. When we’re not slaving at work, my hubby and I travel with our boys – Dior & Obi-Wan. Yes, they go where we go!