Are two dogs better than one? There are definitely some upsides as well as challenges to consider. As fellow dog parents, we always had one dog…until we decided that our rescue Moses needed a brother to help bring him out of his shell! Was getting another dog a good idea? Should you add a second dog to your family? We’ll share our thoughts below.
We've come up with a list of pros and cons because dog parenting, as you know, is a commitment you shouldn’t rush into. Let's dive in!
What to Consider Before Bringing A Second Dog Home
More Mouths to Feed - A significant part of the day-to-day expenses of having two dogs is feeding them. For example, as a single dog, Moses went through a large bag of dog food every two weeks. Once Lewie arrived, the bag was gone in about 9 days, so we are buying more food (and more treats) more frequently. Even if you are not opting for a super fancy kind of dog food, it still is an extra expense to keep in mind.
Shedding Galore - Ask any dog parent, and many of us will lament about finding dog hair here, there, and everywhere. The bad news? It may appear like the hair is quadrupled when you have two dogs. Be ready to spot dog hair on all corners of your home. The good news? There are dogs that don't shed if this is a deal-breaker for you. You can watch a video we made about shedding here:
Traveling Can Get Tricky - There are a few things to consider as far as traveling with dogs is concerned. Number one - the size of your car. Can it hold two dogs? When our truck died, we realized that we needed an equally large car to hold both dogs. This took a lot of options off the table for us and because of our large dogs, the car came with a larger price. We're not complaining. It's just something we always need to keep in mind.
Number two - travel/vacations. Having one dog to tag along on vacation is very manageable, but bringing two dogs requires more careful planning regarding car space and luggage, not to mention finding pet-friendly accommodations that will accept two dogs. Alternatively, if you plan on leaving them at home, you’ll need a reliable boarding service, which is an additional cost because now you are boarding two dogs.
Double the Vet Bills - Another financial commitment is veterinarian bills. With two dogs, costs can add up rather quickly with regular check-ups, immunizations, and any secondary treatments/medications required. If you have pet insurance (which is always a good idea) those costs are also doubled with an extra family member.
Walks Can Be Challenging - Walking two dogs can be a logistical challenge too! If your dogs differ greatly in terms of size (Moses weighs 150 lbs, Lewie weighs 75 lbs) and temperament (Lew is happy and spirited and Mo is nervous and skittish), it can be hard to manage them on walks - especially if only one person is walking both. Is it impossible, no - but at times, it's challenging.
Why Two Dogs are Better than One - The Upside of Having a Second Dog
Companionship - All of this being said, don't let the information above deter you; owning two dogs can be fantastically rewarding! For a start, dogs are great companions – not just for their humans, but also for each other. Bringing a second dog home can create a powerful bond and companionship between your dogs. Our dogs keep each other company, play together, and sometimes sleep side by side. Mo even lets Lewie suck on his ears like a security blanket!
A New Dynamic - The new dog not only brings joy to the existing dog but enhances your family as a whole by introducing a new personality to the mix. Where Moses is stoic and cat-like, Lewie is funny and cuddly. Lewie brings out the play in Mo, and Mo has passed along his calm energy to Lewie. By getting Lewie, our house went from having a mellow, laid-back dog vibe to being more exuberant and playful – a fun change for everyone!
While the costs and effort associated with having a second dog can be significant, the joy and companionship they bring to your home can be very worthwhile. It's seriously one of the best moves we've ever made being pet owners. We have decided that going forward we will always have two dogs…or maybe three…or…
Please share your experiences and ideas in the comments below, along with any other thoughts or questions you may have.
You can also check out our YouTube Video on this topic here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEoJBT-wAWo&t=18s
Happy Dog Parenting!
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Twice the love to give and receive.
Thank you for sharing this. I also really enjoy having two dogs. My dogs are about 7 years apart and now that my oldest is almost 17, it’s tricky. He can’t go fast any longer and our walks mean each dog walks alone with a human. I believe they support each other though. One challenge is that one is a grazer and the other is a chow hound. We need to remember to lift food and offer frequently to one. It’s all good though. Different personalities, different experiences and double the love.
I always had one dog growing up but when i moved to the farm there were two dogs already here. We did have 4 at one point and as they passed we realized we were lost without them. Older dogs make training a puppy alot easier they keep them inline. We do eat 50 lbs of food in 10 days and the vet bills are higher but the love and joy we get its worth it.