Adopting a dog can be one the biggest blessings in life. Imagine how much better that blessing would be if you took two dogs home instead of one!
The staff at Animal Friends are always working hard to place all of the animals in the best possible “forever homes,” and making sure that each of our canine friends finds a family that will give them all the love and attention they need. However, sometimes the dogs in our lives thrive on the kind of social interaction and play that only another canine companion can provide. In fact, many vets report that that the healthiest dogs come from multi-dog families, because those dogs benefit from more opportunities to exercise and play together.
Having two dogs has many other benefits as well. If you’re away from home all day, two dogs can keep each other company while you’re gone. Additionally, dogs who must share time and attention often learn to be more easy-going.
Families with multiple dogs often say their dogs are happier and more loving since there’s been another dog in their home. A family’s understanding of its dogs and their behavior improves when they have the chance to observe the dogs’ interactions. Many of these families never go back to keeping just one dog. Having two dogs brings twice the love, affection, joy and fun that one dog can bring.
Most importantly, the Humane Society of the United States estimates that there are between six and eight million dogs and cats entering shelters each year, about half of whom will be euthanized. Think of how much easier the work of shelters across the country would be if more families were willing to welcome not one, but two dogs into their hearts and homes.
The decision to adopt an animal always requires careful thought. If you’re contemplating adopting two dogs or bringing a second dog into your home, careful planning and preparation are especially important.
First and foremost, make sure your dogs are spayed or neutered. Not only do you want to prevent any unwanted pregnancies, but dogs that are unaltered are much more likely to fight. Also be sure to consider the added cost of care, vet bills, food, kennels and toys for two dogs. Many of these items already carry a high price tag and adding a second dog will double these costs. Do you have the time to spend with a second dog? Dogs require a great deal of time and having more than one requires more of your time and attention. It’s important to not let one dog get “lost in the crowd,” so individual bonding time will be extremely important.
Compatibility in a multi-dog home is also an important issue. Many dogs prefer to live with another dog of the opposite sex. Some dogs will have a wonderful relationship with each other, but must be separated at dinner time to prevent any disputes over food. And, some dog owners report that two dogs can get into mischief that one dog alone might not!
Families must thoroughly evaluate their reasons for wanting a second dog. A second dog is certainly not a substitute for human companionship and generally isn’t a cure for another dog’s behavioral issues. First, you may want to try pet-sitting for a friend or family member or taking your dog to a park or one of Animal Friends’ many pet-friendly events to see how your dog interacts with other dogs.
Before deciding to bring another dog into your home, make sure you’re able to make the commitment of the extra money, time, attention and love that your new family member will require. If you are, then you’ll soon find that having two dogs is “twice as nice” as having one!
To meet adoptable dogs today, visit www.ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org.