- There’s a lot to consider when you’re trying to decide whether or not you and your pet are ready and able to bring a second animal into your home.
- Some things to consider before adopting a second pet include your finances, how much space you have, and whether or not your pet seems ready to welcome a new animal.
- If you have a lot of free time and your pet seems lonely, adopting a second animal could be a rewarding thing. Just remember to be patient when introducing animals to each other.
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Having a pet companion can be a rewarding experience and sometimes having just one animal doesn’t feel like enough. That said, deciding to add new pets to your home is a pretty big deal and there are a few things worth considering before you adopt a new animal.
Here are a few signs you may be ready to adopt a second pet.
You spend a lot of time with your pet and are willing to divide that time between two animals instead of one.
Your current pet may be getting a lot of attention from you – but are you prepared to share that attention with another animal?
“Each pet will want your full attention. Pets can be like children and want equal amounts of attention from you as you gave the other pet,” said Sara Ochoa, a small animal and exotic veterinarian practicing in east Texas and a veterinary consultant for doglab.com.
With that in mind, if you feel comfortable sharing your attention you may be ready to add a new pet to your family.
You have enough space for a second pet and all of the essentials that come with owning them.
“Make sure you have enough space for your new pet. This will mean two of everything (beds, bowls, toys, treats),” said Ochoa.
You’ll also want to be sure that you have room for two animals to comfortably play and rest.
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You’re financially able to care for another animal.
Being a pet owner is a lifelong financial commitment so be sure you’re fully prepared to make the jump before bringing a second pet home.
When first getting a pet, you’ll have to buy new gear like collars, leashes, and crates. You will also be committing to buying more food, treats, toys, and other essentials over time.
“[Plus,] unexpected visits to the vet can lead to bills piling up quickly, so it’s important to be honest about whether or not you’re financially ready to welcome a second pet into your life,” Lauren McDevitt, the cofounder & chief executive officer of Good Dog, told INSIDER. “Grooming, pet sitters, walkers, and occasional boarding will also eventually factor in to your yearly fees.”
You know you have the time and energy to integrate a new pet into your home.
When introducing any new pet to a home, it will take time and patience. After all, you’re introducing your two pets and helping your new animal adjust to a new environment and family. Plus, you’ll still want to dedicate time to your first pet.
“Each pet will have individual needs and you’ll have to make sure that you’re able to meet those needs in order to provide them with a good quality of life,” said McDevitt.
Your pet seems a bit lonely.
Your pet may also seem ready for a new companion if they seem lonely. Some signs your pet could be feeling a bit lonely include if they change their eating habits or partake in destructive behaviors like chewing or scratching.
That said, some cats and dogs may enjoy having a furry friend whereas others are comfortable in one-pet households – it entirely depends on your animal so you’ll want to keep an eye on their behavior.
Your pet is fairly well-behaved and seems ready to accept a new animal into the home.
A major determining factor will be whether or not your pet is ready to accept a new member of the family into the household.
For starters, your pet should be somewhat dependable and well-mannered so his relationship with the new pet has the best chance at succeeding.
“You’ll want to consider your pet’s age, likes, and dislikes. What kind of pets does your current pet typically get along with? Older, calmer dogs typically don’t mix well with rowdy puppies, just as two puppies might negatively feed off of each other’s boisterous energy,” said McDevitt.
McDevitt also said if your pet has behavioral issues or is young and still working through its “rambunctious stage” you might want to hold off on adding another pet into your home.
Overall, your choice should realistically take into account your current pet’s needs and temperament. You should also take into account the temperament and personality of the animal you are planning to adopt.