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Does taking care of two dogs take twice as long as taking care of one?
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Does taking care of two dogs take twice as long as taking care of one?

Dogs
Breed Facts

Dogs like to have company and naturally many people keep two dogs rather than one, and there are a number of benefits to this for the dogs, most notably providing them with a canine companion to ensure they’re not lonely and have a friend to play with and snuggle up with.

But owning even one dog is a big commitment, and one that takes up far more of your time than many first-time dog owners think it will, and which some dog owners are ill equipped to provide.

However, if you already own one dog and are thinking of taking on a second, you already know how much time and commitment keeping one dog requires. But is taking care of two dogs twice as time consuming, or is the amount of time you need to spend on them the same for two dogs as for one? The answer lies somewhere in the middle.

Read on to learn if taking care of two dogs takes twice as long as taking care of one.

Walking

Walking two dogs together doesn’t take double the time, but when you factor in getting them ready and managing them out on walks too, it does take longer than it does for one dog. When you get back from a walk the cleaning or drying them off takes twice as long as well. A walk with two dogs generally takes longer than the same walk with one, for reasons that are relatively unclear other than that two dog messing around or taking a while to do their business and return when called all adds up !

You should also walk each dog separately a couple of times a week too for the benefit of both of them and to permit you to spend one on one time with them and reinforce your bonds.

Preventative healthcare visits and checks

Things like booster vaccinations and health checks can be booked for both dogs together; saving you two lots of travel time. But the appointments themselves should still take twice as long as for one dog. This means that other than the transport time (which might be a reasonable time saving if your vet isn’t that close to home) your two dogs’ vet visits will take twice as long.

Remember though that getting two dogs ready takes twice the time of one, and if one dog doesn’t like going to the vet or is a handful to treat, this might affect the other one as well; and so sometimes taking both dogs separately will actually be more time efficient.

Dog grooming

Once more, taking two dogs to the groomer together means only making one trip not two, but getting both dogs ready to go takes twice as long as one.

You don’t usually need to wait for your dog at the groomers (and some don’t permit waiting) but whether or not they take twice as long to finish two dogs depends on whether one groomer grooms both dogs back to back, or if in larger salons, they’re groomed by two different groomers simultaneously.

If you visit a larger salon and don’t have a specific preference on groomers, you might be able to arrange this to mean a shorter salon trip than if you took your dogs one by one by having them groomed at the same time.

Socialisation

Two dogs provide for a lot of each other’s socialisation needs with other dogs, so enabling this for two that live together may actually take less time than for just one alone. However, all dogs do need to be able to meet and play with dogs other than their housemates, but assuming neither dog is reactive or a problem with others, this can be handled simultaneously for both dogs at once in the main part.

Training

Training and maintaining the skills and obedience of two dogs does indeed take twice as long for two dogs as for one. You can’t train or refresh the skills of two dogs simultaneously and have this be effective, so you do need to dedicate time to training each dog alone, both initially and on an ongoing basis.

Spending quality time with your dogs

Spending time giving your dogs your full attention and reinforcing your bond with them is something you need to ensure you dedicate enough effort to, and you can do this with both dogs together but much like walks, it is also really important to do this for both dogs alone regularly too.

This means separating the dogs regularly to spend time with each on their own, which then takes twice as long. It also helps to avoid separation anxiety between the two dogs, which can occur if they are never usually separated if for some reason they then need to be.

Does taking care of two dogs take twice the time and effort of one?

Not quite – in some areas it takes around the same amount of time as for just one dog, and in others, it will take twice as long. For most things it is somewhere in the middle – more time consuming than for just one dog but not twice as time consuming for two.

If you’re considering getting two dogs or already have one dog and are thinking of getting another, make sure you have plenty of time to dedicate to both before you make a commitment you might not be able to meet. Owning just one dog takes a lot of commitment, and for two, this is even more acutely the case.

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