A Guide on the Pros and Cons of Getting a Second Dog

Are you considering getting a second dog?

Having many furry friends can bring much joy and companionship. But, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

In this guide, we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of adding another canine to your household. We’ll also discuss different types of dogs and some of the best breeds for potential new additions.

This article will provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision about expanding your pack. So let’s dive into the pros and cons of getting a second dog!

Pros of Getting a Second Dog

There are several reasons why you may want to add another dog to your household. Adding another furry friend to your family can bring many benefits, but it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. Let’s dive in and explore the pros of getting a second dog.


One of the most significant advantages of getting a second dog is the companionship they provide. Dogs are social animals, and having a playmate can alleviate loneliness, boredom, and separation anxiety. Your existing dog can enjoy the company of a new friend, and you’ll likely find their bond heartwarming.

Increased Exercise and Play

Two dogs can entertain each other and engage in play, which helps ensure they get the physical exercise they need. Dogs thrive on physical activity, and with a companion, they’ll have more opportunities to run, chase, and wrestle.

Mental Stimulation

Interacting with another dog can provide valuable mental stimulation. The dogs can engage in problem-solving and strategizing during play, keeping their minds sharp. This can be particularly beneficial for intelligent breeds.


Intruders may think twice about entering a home with two barking dogs. A second dog can serve as an extra layer of security, offering protection and peace of mind. Their protective instincts and barking can alert you to any potential threats, whether it’s an unwelcome visitor or a squirrel in the backyard.

Enhanced Socialization

Two dogs can help each other develop better social skills. They can learn how to interact with other dogs more effectively. And this can lead to more positive interactions during walks or visits to the dog park.

Support for Aging Dogs

If you have an older dog, a younger companion can help keep them active and engaged. The older dog can also guide the younger one and impart wisdom. It’s a lovely sight to see a senior dog mentor a puppy.

Bigger Family Fun

Adding a second dog can enhance family dynamics. More dogs mean more fun, more love, and more memorable moments. Many families find that a second dog brings joy and laughter to the household.

Cons of Getting a Second Dog

As enticing as it may seem to add another furry member to your family, there are also some potential downsides to getting a second dog. Below, we’ll discuss the cons of getting a second dog and provide some insights on how to best navigate these challenges.

Initial Cost

Getting a second dog means increased expenses. You’ll need to budget for additional food, grooming, medical care, and other supplies. Veterinary bills can double, and this can be a significant financial commitment.

Create a budget that includes food, grooming, medical care, and supplies. Explore cost-effective options and consider pet insurance to help with unexpected medical costs.

Time and Attention

Each dog requires individual attention, training, and exercise. Adding a second dog means dividing your time between them. It may be challenging to give each one the quality time they need.

Set aside quality time for each dog, whether through play, training, or walks. Enrolling them in obedience classes together can promote bonding and efficient training.

Space and Territory

Dogs are territorial animals, and adding a second dog may lead to territorial disputes. To handle potential territorial issues, introduce the new dog gradually in neutral territory. You might need a bigger living space or invest in training to establish boundaries and prevent conflicts.

Training Challenges

Training two dogs simultaneously can be more demanding than training a single dog. They may influence each other’s behavior, and it can be a complex task to keep them both on track.

If one has behavioral issues, it can sometimes influence the other. Start with separate training on basics to cut distractions. Then, introduce joint training as they develop individual skills.


Not all dogs get along with each other. The compatibility of the dogs you choose is crucial. If you’re considering a Teddy Bear breed, which is a popular mix of Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise, make sure it aligns with your current dog’s disposition. Gradual introductions and close monitoring during the initial stages are essential.

It’s important to check the reputation and practices of breeders if you decide to go this route. For more on this, check out Teddy Bear Breeders.

Health Risks

With two dogs, there’s an increased risk of illness or injury. When one gets sick, the other is more likely to be exposed. Additionally, dogs can play roughly, and accidents may happen, leading to injuries that wouldn’t occur with a single dog.

To reduce health risks, keep up with regular vet check-ups and vaccinations for both dogs. Be vigilant during play to prevent injuries. Watch for signs of illness and isolate one dog if needed to prevent the spread.

Long-Term Commitment

Dogs live for many years, and having two means making a long-term commitment. Consider the implications for your lifestyle, work, and living situation. Are you ready for the responsibility of caring for multiple dogs over an extended period?

Time Apart

If your dogs develop a strong bond, they may experience separation anxiety when apart. This can make it challenging to take one to the vet, groomer, or anywhere else without the other.

Help dogs cope with separation anxiety by building their independence. Start with short separations and extend them as comfort grows. Encourage bonding with each dog individually and provide engaging toys to keep them occupied when apart.

Consider the Pros and Cons of Getting a Second Dog

After discussing the pros and cons of getting a second dog, it’s clear that there are both advantages and challenges to consider. Carefully weigh all factors before making a decision, as adding a new pet is a big commitment.

But if done responsibly, a second dog can bring even more love and joy into your life. So take the time to evaluate your options and make the best choice for you and your furry pet companions.

Please take a look at our blog for more educational articles.

Brenda Thompson

Brenda Thompson is an expert in dog behavior with over a decade of experience, and she is also passionate about working with cats and birds. In addition to contributing pet content to petdogplanet.com, she is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant. Brenda received her Bachelor of Science in Biological and Biomedical Sciences & Philosophy from Colorado College in 2014. She has taken classes in writing and remote animal behavior consulting, as well as courses on how to manage aggressive dogs and litter box issues. In 2016, she obtained her dog behavior consulting certification and joined the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

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