Are Two Dogs Better Than One? (Facts & Recommendations)
One of the life lessons Winnie the Pooh taught us as kids is that “things are so much nicer with two.” Certainly, some people will readily tell you that this statement applies to dog ownership, where one dog is never far from his own furry “buddy.” But is this beneficial?
It’s a Variable Answer
There is no definitive right or wrong answer to whether having one or two dogs in the home is the right call. However, there are several variables that can be weighed to make a logical assumption. Some of these factors tie into the potential owner while others are linked to the nature of the dog.
If you plan on leaving your pooch by himself while you’re at work all day, it is recommended that you introduce a second dog into the fold. While your dog would prefer your company - which makes sense, since you're his owner - a second dog will help keep them engaged while you're gone. It can also end up being an educational experience for your four-legged friend, as a second dog will allow them to interact socially with other canines.
The dog side of this equation is a little more complex. Age, gender, and breed can all play vital roles in determining whether or not a pair of pooches will get along. They aren’t necessarily hard, fast rules, but adhering to them tends to mete out a higher level of success.
For instance, it is recommended that you bring in both dogs at the same time, and in the puppy stage. This will enable both to grow up together in an environment that will feel “normal” to them. If you need to introduce a second dog at a later time interval, it is prudent to wait until your first pup gets completely acclimated to your family; a process that takes about a year.
It is also recommended that you select a pooch from each gender. If you have two males in the house, you may see two dogs perpetually fighting over territory. Conversely, two female dogs may have trouble establishing a proper pack order, which could lead to an increased instance of fighting.
If you have one dog from each sex, your pooches will end up being better-behaved because they won’t bring out the gender-fueled “beastly” traits as readily. The only caveat to this is to make sure you work toward getting your pooches spayed or neutered. If you don’t, you could have an unexpected litter of pups on your hands.
Breed should also be taken into consideration. Getting two dogs of the same breed could cause some rather uniquely negative issues depending on dog type, particularly if you end up with two dogs of the same gender. If you go with two different breeds, it’s generally considered that larger males and smaller females work well, because big dogs are typically inhibited against aggression toward smaller-sized canines.
Happiness - the Biggest Plus to Having Two Dogs
It’s a joy to have two dogs that are best buds in your home. From an owner standpoint, seeing your dogs reveling in each other’s company may be the biggest benefit. It certainly allows your pooches to experience a type of social interaction that can only be experienced with another dog.
Be Mindful of the Cons
Having two dogs in the home is not without its setbacks. For instance, a pair of dogs increases the chances of mischief happening while you’re away. Some of these shenanigans may be endearing, but they may also be unwittingly destructive.
Cost is another factor that must be considered in a two-dog situation. Every aspect of care will at least double monetarily, from pet licenses and vet fees to food, grooming materials, and amenities. The price could be even more than doubled if you are welcoming two different breeds into the home.
Ultimately, it’s Your Call
The decision of bringing one or two dogs into the home is entirely up to you, but it shouldn’t just be an arbitrary choice. Careful consideration must be given before pulling the proverbial trigger, with factors relating to your own life and the nature of the beasts demanding particular scrutiny. However, if you’re up to the task of dealing with a pair of pooches and the environment you provide is healthy, then having two dogs in your home can be an excellent decision.