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Second Dog- Good Idea or not


You have entered the world of dog ownership and, if you’ve done things right and your pup is well behaved, you may begin to think about getting a second pup.

On the other hand, if you haven’t been consistent with your training and your pup is acting up and destroying things when left alone, this may not be a good solution.

Many of you may have seen the commercial on TV where the family leaves the house in the morning for work and school and come home at the end of the day to find a bored dog and a large mess in the home. The family, rather than thinking things through rationally, feel if they get another pup it will keep the other one company and out of trouble.

Unfortunately, this is not how things work. The best way to ensure that your pup is happy and won’t destroy your home is to crate train him from the beginning. He should feel safe and secure in his crate and consider it his own little “man cave”.

If you give your pup a good walk or run in the morning and he’s done his business, you can leave him in the crate with a stuffed Kong or other favourite chew toy. This will keep him occupied and he won’t be running around getting into mischief. If your pup is still relatively young, it would be prudent for you to hire a dog walker or a friend or neighbor to let your pup out mid-day to relieve himself, and offer him some water or perhaps another chew toy.

If you still feel that a second pup is right for you, be sure that you do your homework first. You must first be realistic and look at the costs involved. Are you financially able to pay for food, toys, and medical expenses for two dogs? As you know, pet ownership does come with a price and, if there is an accident or serious illness, vet bills can be fairly hefty. You also need to consider the cost of boarding two pups if you need to travel and your pups aren’t able to travel with you. Also, if you do travel with two dogs, you need to be sure your vehicle is large enough to accommodate them safely in a carrier or crate, or a proper pet seat belt. You should also consider that not every hotel, motel or cottage is pet friendly and, even if they are, many require that your pet be crated or restrained when you are not with them.

You need to do your research and, if you do decide to get a second pup, choose a pup preferably of the opposite sex, which is generally the best match. You should also be sure that the new pup will have the same type of energy level and will not dominate your first pup.

Ideally, if you do find another pup you want to adopt as a companion to your first pup, be sure that you can have the two meet first on neutral ground to check their compatibility. You should also be able to have a trial period of a few days or a week, in which to see how they will interact in your home.

Remember, just like humans, not every pup may like another pup and, if they cannot be friends, no one will be happy. So before you decide to rush out and get another dog, think long and hard and do your research because we don’t need any more four legged friends to end up in a shelter.


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