Young blue nose pitbull laying in a large dog pool

When to Get a Second Dog

When to Get a Second Dog

Adding a new dog to your family starts with a desire.

Scratching an itch comes naturally. Most times we don't give it a thought, we let our subconscious seek out the place that begs the work. Other times, when feverish with thoughts of possibilities, we scratch before the itch starts.

So it goes with considering adding a second dog. You think a second dog isn't any more work than one dog. This is companion math. Two parrots aren't any more work than one parrot, then you have eight parrots. Companion Math. You don't need a calculator for it. Your heart begs the truth. Counting isn't necessary.

It takes two dogs to make two dogs happier.

In a family it is important that all members are in agreement about adopting another dog. My husband and I search all the dog rescue sites. Poking at each other with adoptable dog links. We toss adoptable dog faces back and forth on our phones. I lean over the table between my couch and his chair. "Look babe! Look at that face."

He'll look at my phone screen to inspect today's menu options. "He's cute."

"Angus needs a friend."

Angus glances up at me from his supreme position of only owner of my couch, questioning our intentions, and our understanding of the term, only child.

"Where's he at?" I scramble for the details of location and availability. We discuss this particular adorable option a bit more, I snuggle Angus while he rests his head on my lap. "You want a brother don't you, handsome boy?"

Consider your current dog's needs, size, and friend requirements. 

  • First rule of new dogs is; Your current companion's life and rules do not change to accommodate the new companion. The new dog fits into the lifestyle at hand. The new dog doesn't know any rules; therefore, change is all he will be dealing with anyway. To ask your current companion to do the changing (outside of small things like an additional dog bed placement, or dog food etiquette) adds stress.
  • Second rule of new dogs is; Age, demeanor, and gender compliments. You'll want sizes to match somewhat for play and equal rights. You'll want your dogs neutered/spayed so gender doesn't cause problems, or puppies. You'll want demeanor to match for comradery.
  • Last rule of new dogs is; Love them equally from the first day. Without fail or bias.

We continue our adoptable dog surfing and Angus has no clue we want to crush the perfection he's created for himself around here. His tail thumps the leather in a dull rhythm. Oblivious to his crumbling tyranny.

There are two considerations for the humans as well.

  • First consideration; Age and lifespan. Of both dogs and you. Dogs are fantastic friends. Acknowledge their needs and your abilities.
  • Second consideration; Money. You are about to double veterinary, medicine, treats, supplements, flea and tick prevention, food, and bedding costs. 

My husband sends me links presenting faces named Harley and Hunter. So many variables for companion math. I get names and puppy faces mixed up. He sends me a text with a smiley face.

I message back, "I'm too senile for another dog."

We laugh. We know where this is heading.

Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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