Okay, so maybe you’re a first time dog parent who’s just gotten comfortable wearing your new responsibility. Maybe you’ve had bunches of dogs in your life, but only one at a time. Whatever your situation, if you’re thinking about adding a second dog to your family there a few things you should keep in mind. Eleven things, actually.
These are 11 ways to tell if you’re ready for another dog.
1. Your first dog is one happy, healthy motherpupper.
Yep, you’ve fed, sheltered, and successfully raised your first dog without ever missing a vet appointment. In fact, your dog loves you in a multitude of ways you never even imagined!
2. ALL members of your household are on board.
Getting another dog is not a light decision. Every one in your home, from your significant other or children, right down to your first dog, all need to want a second dog. If others feel overburdened by the idea of another dog, or your pup doesn’t get along with other pups, it may not be the time.
3. Your love for your first dog eclipses your love of simple things like money and ice cream.
You will go above and beyond for your current pooch, shunning trivial delights like human relationships and vacations just to spend more time with your favoritest of favs.
4. It’s cool with your landlord.
Some landlords allow you to have pets even if your lease says you can’t. This just gives them the discretion to deal with problem pets, like cats. So always check with them, even if pets are allowed. You may discover a set number of pets allowed by the lease. If you own a home, then do you, motherpupper.
5. Your first dog knows lots of tricks.
Sound silly? It’s not. A dog with a full catalogue of dog skills means you’ve invested time and responsibility in training your pup and are likely to do the same for a new doggie addition.
6. You plan on adopting.
We’re not trying to influence your attitude towards store puppies, but if you’re going to get a second dog there are LOTS of pups out there who need a home. An intent to adopt just goes to show you’re concerned about the welfare of all dogs, and not just the dog under your roof.
7. It’s in your budget.
If you can’t financially dedicate yourself to the healthcare of two or more dogs, including anticipation of emergencies, you might want to wait. The immediate desire to care for a dog should not outweigh your long term ability to provide care.
8. You have the time to train a new dog.
You might get a second dog who’s already housebroken and knows lots of tricks, but you know what that dog doesn’t know? You or your family. There will be a period of adjustment for both you and the new dog and you need to be able to dedicate yourself to the care of the new pup until their transition is complete. You might not consider it training, but it is.
9. You can safely transport TWO dogs when needed.
That means a new leash and harness, a new carrier, maybe even a new car depending on where you live and how big your pups are. Now you’ll have to get two dogs to the vet, two dogs to the park, and if you’re lucky enough to work for BarkPost, two dogs to work.
10. No new hooman puppies.
We love hooman puppies, but if you plan on having another one then it isn’t the time to get a dog. Both hooman puppies and new dogs require 100% of your attention, so you’ll need to make sure you can provide that for whoever you welcome into your home.
11. Your first dog wants a second dog.
No matter how great a pup parent you are, you still have a job and other obligations that keep you away from your darling dog. Don’t they deserve the company of a fellow darling? If you think your dog needs a friend, then you know your dog well enough to introduce another dog into the arrangement.*
*There are two schools of thought on this last subject. Some think it’s your job to make sure your dog is stimulated and happy, not the job of another dog. But if your dog is plenty stimulated, just lonely at times, we say go for it.