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Pros and Cons for Having Two Dogs

Updated on April 27, 2016

Two Dogs Can get Along

Best friends taking a nap together
Best friends taking a nap together | Source

One or Two?

For a variety of reasons many people consider having more than one dog, but is it is good idea? Does two dogs mean twice the amount of work? There are many reasons for having two dogs and even more for having only one.


Many families live busy lives and worry about leaving their dogs home alone for long periods of time. Some dogs display anxiety behavior traits when left alone, chewing furniture, emptying trash bins and so on. Dogs are pack animals and if the humans, the pack leaders leave them alone they become distressed. Another dog will help with this separation anxiety.

Two dogs may keep each other entertained. This is particularly useful with energetic puppies constantly looking for interaction. It is also a good way for puppies to learn social skills and expectable behavior. A puppy who nips will almost certainly be nipped back and soon learn that they get a negative response to that behavior.


Dogs of any age cost money. Vaccinations, food, boarding and grooming all cost money. Two dogs would mean twice the cost. It is important to consider that many dog illnesses are contagious, worms for example can easily be passed to other dogs, so vets will often require you to treat both dogs, even if only one is displaying symptoms.

Two dogs will take up more time than one. Two lots of grooming, training, poop pick up, hair clean up will need a greater commitment than one.

Many dogs sleep when no one is home. If it is part of their routine, you can make sure dogs are comfortable and feel safe with the use of a crate or toys. With two dogs they are more likely to get into mischief together, argue over toys and rough play.

In some cases two dogs find it difficult to find their place in the pack and jostle for top dog. This can lead to constant fighting and jealousy.

Playtime is always more fun with two

Two Puppies. An have a great time playing together.
Two Puppies. An have a great time playing together. | Source

Puppy training is time consuming and exhausting for both parties.

Exhausted Puppy and Trainer
Exhausted Puppy and Trainer | Source

What to do if you Decide to Have Two Dogs

If you do decide to have two dogs there are many ways you can manage this decision successfully.

Many trainers suggest purchasing the dogs separately. It is better to have one dog first, work on toilet training and behavior training before introducing a second dog. Puppies are individuals and often need training individually so it is often easier to train them one at a time. It is harder to provide the positive experiences with people and places with two dogs at the same time.

Choose your second dog carefully. Consider the type of dog that would fit into your established routine. Think about temperament, grooming and exercise needs. The sex of the dog should also be a factor. Advise generally seems to be that dogs do better if they are the opposite sex, a few years apart in size and not related. Two male dogs may get territorial as they get older, however there are always exceptions.

Whatever dog you choose it is important to ensure your choice is compatible with your current dog before making the final decision. Try to find a dog that has a similar temperament and energy level. If the two dogs are very different it will lead to conflict. Allowing the two dogs to meet at a neutral place beforehand will make it possible to observe their interactions.

Whatever you decide it is important to consider each dog as an individual and base your decision on your knowledge of your current dog. While an older dog may find a new puppy irritating and become aggressive towards it, another older dog may take on a new lease of life and enjoy reliving their puppy years with the new addition.

What to do if you Decide to Have Only one Dog

There are many ways you can help your dog to become socialized and happy. If you know you will be away from home for several hours, take the dog for a long, tiring walk before you leave. This will put the dog in a relaxed sleepy state and they may well sleep while you are away. A crate may also work well to make your dog feel secure while you are not at home.

Socializing you dog can be achieved by enrolling them in day care. This will provide time with other humans and dogs and offer experience with a variety of dogs.

Do you have more than one dog?

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So, one dog or two? The decision is very much up to the individual. You need to consider the reasons behind wanting two dogs and make sure your first dog is agreeable to sharing its home and humans. You need to be sure you have the time and money to commit to the care of two dogs.

© 2014 Ruthbro


Submit a Comment

  • Ruthbro profile image

    Ruthbro 3 years ago from USA

    Thanks teaches, we have become a zoo too, so easy to think, one more won't make a difference, it is a lot of work and time commitment!

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

    What a sweet photo display of pets. Years ago, I used to have a dog, cat, bunny, bird, three ducks and a fish for pets. I guess it is called a mini zoo these days. Today, if I had a pet, it would be a one-pet household.

  • Ruthbro profile image

    Ruthbro 3 years ago from USA

    Thanks, good points!

  • Mel Carriere profile image

    Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

    As a letter carrier, two dogs only means double trouble! Seriously though, I have often believed that dogs need other dogs to be happy, just like we need other people, and depriving them of a companion seems somehow cruel. For this reason I do not own a dog, because I don't think I could spend the time and money necessary to take care of two or more. Great hub and a unique approach to dog care.