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Published: Dec 19, 2011

A dog can bring such joy to owners they decide to get a second to double the fun and affection. Owners must understand the responsibilities that come with getting another dog before making the final decision.

According to VCA Animal Hospitals, an owner must consider the impact a new pet will have on their current dog.  Is the current dog friendly with other dogs and enjoys socializing?  Or does the current dog become possessive or aggressive of you or toys in the presence of other dogs?  Is the current dog old or suffer from chronic illness?  These are considerations to determine how likely a current dog is to adapt to a new dog., reports an owner must also consider whether or not the current dog is sufficiently trained. A dog who chews or digs or exhibits other negative behaviors will most likely teach the new dog the bad habits.

Another significant consideration is the additional cost of owning two dogs.  The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reports the annual cost of caring for a dog ranges from $580 for a small dog to $875 for a larger breed. This accounts for basics such as pet food, proper licensing, grooming, health insurance and vet care, including dog vaccinations and monthly medication preventatives.  Extras like leashes, crates, and dog beds add up quickly.

Caring for two dogs means investing more time. Owners will need more free time to train, care for and sufficiently exercise both dogs. VCA Animal Hospitals reports dogs require two 30-minute walks each day to stay healthy, although active younger dogs may need significantly more exercise.  Owning two dogs can be a very rewarding experience if an owner is properly prepared.