IT IS a question we’ve all asked ourselves as dog owners at some stage: “should I get a friend for my dog?’’ There are many different reasons why pet owners consider adding to their fur family, and it is important to explore all areas of those decisions to make sure it is the right move for you and your pet.
First things first - do you have the space?
It may seem simple, but many owners overlook the need for enough indoor and outdoor space for two dogs, especially larger breeds. Remember, once you have two dogs, that’s double the hair, double the drool and double doggy doo-doos. These elements can be exacerbated if you have limited room in your household, particularly when you have children or other pets to consider.
If you decide you have the space and also the time to devote to a second pooch, then it could be a great time to add to your family. The next step is to consider how your current dog will feel about the new addition.
My dog seems lonely …
We love our animals and hate the thought of our pets left at home while we go about our busy everyday lives. Ideally, you would match a dog of similar size and temperament to make the new relationship as harmonious as possible. It is important that you consider whether your dog will appreciate their home and belonging being shared. There are certain breeds that prefer human company than that of other dogs.
Getting in contact with a local dog rescue group is a great starting point. They can offer advice on which breeds may mix well and invite you and your dog to meet prospective partner-in-crime candidates. Purchasing a new puppy is another avenue to explore and reputable breeders can provide excellent advice on integrating the puppy into your family and minimising upset to your existing dog.
If you decide that it is not the right time to add to your fur family, or that your current dog won’t cope well with the change, then consider the option of Doggie Day Care. This is a great alternative for your dog to get some interaction and socialisation, when you are out and about during the day. Your local Doggie Daycare centre or Pet Boarding Facility will be able to help you decide what the best option for your pet is.
My dog barks excessively …
Many owners will look at welcoming a new dog into the family to settle down any pre-existing barking problems. If you have already identified the reason for excessive barking and have experimented with techniques to reduce the problem, then this may be a solution for you. However, if this is not done correctly you may end up with double the barking problem. Bringing a new pet into the family may not stop your current dog from barking, so it is essential that you get to the bottom of the reason for excessive barking prior to bring a new pet into the mix. Always seek advice from a qualified, reputable dog trainer to ensure you are making the best decision.
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