One puppy can quickly become a treasured member of the family, so wouldn't two be twice as nice? Not necessarily! There are many things dog owners need to consider to be sure a new puppy can have a wonderful life in their home without taking away from their first dog.
Why Do You Want a New Puppy?
Before choosing a new bundle of fur to bring home, it is important to understand why you want a new puppy. Do you miss the clumsiness and cuddliness of puppyhood? All dogs grow, and no matter how many puppies you may have, they will not stay puppies all their lives – even small dog breeds change in proportions and personalities as they age. Do you want a hunting dog rather than a family pet? You will need to choose a breed that can be trained for the appropriate hunting or field tasks. Do you want companionship for your first dog when you're not able to be home? Be sure your first dog is accepting of what it may see as competition for your time and affection.
Once you understand your desire for a new puppy, you can start the search for the perfect new family member to join the two- and four-legged family members you already have.
Choosing a New Puppy
It is harder to choose a second puppy when you already have a dog in your home. Considering each of these factors carefully can help you choose a new puppy that will be a welcome addition to the family.
Cost: Don't forget how much it cost to get your first puppy. Not only do you need to consider the cost of the dog, but also the associated food and veterinary care. A new dog will also need its own bed, feeding bowls, toys, leash, license and more.
Space: Is your home big enough for a second puppy? Different dogs have different territorial needs, and a new puppy will need a place it feels comfortable and secure. Also take into account the space for an extra bed, another feeding area, more supplies or just two playing dogs.
Personality: Would your first dog welcome a puppy, or could it get jealous and possibly hostile toward the intruder? If your first dog has not been socialized to get along with other dogs, a new puppy will not be accepted as readily. At the same time, consider how energetic or rambunctious each dog may be – a slow, senior dog may not welcome the addition of a bouncy, frolicking puppy, while a strong, large dog may accidentally injure a new puppy.
Training: Is your first dog fully trained and easily responsive to commands? Introducing a new puppy to the home can be stressful, and if the dog is not trained, it may react negatively and be out of your control. At the same time, both your first dog and your new puppy will need training to get along with one another.
Time: Not only will a new puppy need training, feeding grooming and all the other care that your first dog also requires, but you will need to spend time with each dog separately as well as both of them together. If your busy schedule or other commitments barely give you time to walk your first dog, you don't really have time for a new puppy as well.
By understanding what it means to bring a second puppy into your home, you can be sure both you and your first dog are ready for a new furry family member.