When Is The Best Time To Get A Second Pet?

Before anyone gets any ideas, I am NOT considering a second pet – well, not yet at least!

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Besides, Eko barely leaves enough room for me on the couch as it is.   If I got second dog I would have to sit on the floor all day

Eventually I would like to get a second dog.  I grew up with two dogs and it was great that they had each other when we weren’t home or when they needed someone to commiserate with about not getting enough treats.  Eko was also lucky enough to grow up with a friend to teach him the ropes.

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Scout, my mom’s dog, showing Eko how to relax after a good romp

Thanks to Scout, Eko quickly learned things – like how to sit politely for a treat, or what door to go to when he wanted to go outside – that otherwise would have taken longer to teach.  A well-behaved adult dog is definitely your best friend in training a young pup.  Eko also channeled his energy into playtime with Scout rather than into  my shoes. Most of the time.

Eko’s presence also reinvigorated Scout.  She became very playful, lost a few pounds from trying to keep up with the pup and overall was the happiest I had seen her in years.

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However, Scout was not happy when Eko grew bigger than her and she could no longer easily steal treats from him!

I know Eko would love to have a little sister as a partner in crime and hopefully someday not too far off I will be ready to bring another pup home.  Until that time there’s no harm in day dreaming, so I want to ask for thoughts/advice from those of you who have (or had) more than one pet at the same time.  Any recommendations about spacing between pets, dealing with issues of jealousy, or about issues I haven’t considered would be much appreciated.  Thanks!

48 thoughts on “When Is The Best Time To Get A Second Pet?”

  1. Eko and Scout playing tug o war with that treat is priceless!!!! Awesome pic…We wish to foster or bring another furry buddy into our fold as well, but Trev just wouldn’t tolerate it. We tried years ago by adopting another Cairn, but Trev wouldn’t eat or come out from under the table. It was downright pitiful…The amazing blessing though, someone also had their eye on that same Cairn angel, she was placed in a brand new loving home the next day. Everyone won!!!! So we fostered for 4 days…Better than none!!!! We send best wishes to you whenever you feel the time is right…Eko will be a great big brother!!!!

  2. I often recommend to potential adopters that, before adopting a second dog, they make sure their current dog(s) have basic training down to a science. Not only will they end up being a useful tool in teaching a new dog or puppy the rules of the house, but they’re also far less likely to revert back to negative behavior themselves. Also, evaluate your lifestyle. Can you afford a second dog? Does your home have enough space to accommodate another dog? Do you have enough time to devote to training the new arrival? Is your current dog tolerant of other animals in their territory? Once they decide they’re ready, I highly recommend meeting with a trusted trainer who can evaluate their current dog(s) and make recommendations on the personality traits to look for in the newcomer. For example, if your current dog has the tendency to be dominant you’ll likely do best bringing a submissive dog into the home. If your current dog is fearful, bringing a calm, outgoing, and well balanced dog into the home will help to bring a positive balance to the house. A trainer will also give invaluable tips on introducing the new dog to the family.

    • Awesome advice. I can’t imagine getting a second dog without first having established a strong routine with Eko. I think we are right at the point where Eko would be as helpful to a new pup as Scout was to him. I think what you helped me realize is that unlike a first dog, a second dog must be considered in terms of how the personalities will mesh. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. I also grew up with two dogs — and I definitely agree it’s the way to go. Unfortunately, for unmarried apartment dwellers, it’s a bit much. I am trying to work up the nerve to getting ONE of my own, let alone two! My parents, on the other hand, have always gotten their second dog within a year of getting the first. It helps the two to grow up together, I think, and they get along relatively well because they’re introduced to each other as youngin’s. I fantasize about two dog ownership someday!

    • I’m with your parents – live while you’re young! However, my apartment can be crowded with just Eko and me, so I know how you feel. Just like a first dog, I feel like a second dog is never something you’re 100% ready for. That is unless I hit the lotto and can move onto a farm and just romp with a pack all day.

  4. When Zac went we were not looking to get another dog. I did not want to replace him. But Zena is useless as an only. Zac was two years when we brought Zena in and he was so sweet and loving to her from the start. Zena is six and accepted Raffles with the same sweetness – although to be honest he is too big for her to really play with properly, for her sake we should have got a dog more equal in size. I love seeing them both just ‘be’ together and I have had no issues with jealousy with any of them. They even allow my parents tiny dog to join us without any problems.

    • The size issue isn’t one I though of off the bat, but now that you mention it, I definitely think Eko needs a partner who can give it just as good as he does. Eko loves when we visit Scout so I hope that I can find him a permanent friend soon.

  5. I say now and later! lol Not sure why we thought we needed four. But they keep me young and we have an acre of property so we have the room. But when I saw Pixie on the internet and realized that she was at a high kill shelter we could not get there quick enough. Now I am not allowed to look at Adopt-a-pet. Since I have found all of my dogs there in the last ten years I have to agree!

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