Many people who own one dog or are considering buying a dog often wonder how much hassle it would really be to get two dogs, or even three, and while it is certainly true that more than one dog means more time commitment, financial costs and general care needs, there are also a range of advantages to owning more than one dog, and keeping your dog in a multi-pet household.
If you’re thinking along the lines of “the more the merrier” and are sure that you have the time, commitment and finances to keep two or more dogs, this is certainly not an idea that you should rule out out of hand, even if you are a first time dog owner! In this article, we will look at five of the main advantages of owning two or more dogs. Read on to learn more!
Dogs need company and friends to play with and to provide reassurance, and while dogs love the company of people, there is no substitute for the company of another dog! Keeping more than one dog means that their friends are right there with them for most of the time, providing constant on the spot socialisation opportunities and a friend on tap to cuddle up with, play with and generally share life with.
Many dogs are prone to developing separation anxiety to some degree, and even dogs that are calm and well behaved when left alone often pine for company when you need to leave them. Many people who leave their dogs with a sitter or other carer will know that the carer, even one who knows the dog very well, will notice a definite upswing in the mood of the dog when their owner is around, which is based on the dog’s security in the presence of their main caregiver, as well as simple excitement at seeing them again.
Having a pal that is constantly on hand just able to provide reassurance by means of their presence can greatly limit the effects of acute separation anxiety, and even prevent it from occurring in the first place.
While the domestic dog has adapted hugely well over the course of the last few millennia from their wild origins to life alongside of people, dogs remain pack animals that both want and need not just the company and companionship that a pack provides, but also a sense of structure and routine, literally the sense of “knowing their place in the pack.”
Even just two or three dogs naturally form a pack of their own, with a distinct hierarchy and roles in place, which the human family are also a part of and that should have the primary caregivers at the top of the ranks.
Owning two or more dogs allows your dogs to manifest and establish their own unique pack and natural pack behaviour, providing a more natural living environment for all involved.
Dogs retain the ability to learn throughout their lives, and this includes not only the obvious like learning new commands and skills, but also learning about life in general, appropriate responses, and how to react in certain circumstances. As well as learning from their human handlers and by means of observation, dogs also learn a lot from each other.
If you have one bold dog and one that is rather more nervous or speculative, the presence of the bold dog and how they react to things can actually help to bring the other dog out of their shell and make them more confident and calm in the face of new stimulus, and potentially scary situations.
Having one dog is of course undeniably rewarding in a whole range of different ways, such as the physical affection that they show to you, the entertainment value of watching them at play, and the intangible sense of companionship that having a dog around can provide, even when you are not directly interacting with them.
When you own two or more dogs, this reward is amplified, as you not only enjoy the company of each dog individually, but also get to see and benefit from the ways in which they interact with each other, cuddling up together on the sofa, playing rough and tumble, and generally, enjoying each other’s company and the sense of companionship and reassurance that this provides for the dogs.
While multi-dog ownership is not for everyone and should be looked into carefully in terms of weighing up the benefits versus the disadvantages, there are nevertheless a whole lot of very good reasons to consider owning more than one dog, both for you and the dogs themselves.