add extra joy to your household by extending your dog family

Extending your dog family and bringing a new fur child to your household is a personal question.  It truly depends on your lifestyle and the lifestyle of the other members of your household. When truly considering these aspects it makes for a great addition and transition for your household.

My husband and I began to see how much our dog Frankenstein was in need of a companion.  She loved going to the dog park and being around other dogs. When we would invite our friends and their dogs to our home, Frankenstein couldn’t have been happier.  Instead of jumping right in and adopting a new pup, my husband, and I needed to make and informed and responsible choice — something you need to be aware of before extending your dog family. We felt secure with our decision to adopt Luna, our Bichon mix, after going through the steps below.

extending your dog family: questions to ask yourself before welcoming another dog to the family

When dog parents ask me about extending their dog family, I respond to them with the following questions:

  • Are you seeking a companion for your fur child?

If you already have a four legged creature at home, observe them and note if they are the type of pup that would enjoy a sibling.  Some dogs truly blossom into their personalities when another dog is around. Others prefer spending quality time with their human. One important thing we noticed was the personalities of our two dogs blend well.  In most dog families, there’s an alpha — the more dominant of the two. We adopted Luna because she was a submissive pup and would accept Frankenstein as the alpha. For us, this was an important consideration — be honest with yourselves about this one before extending your dog family.

  • Are you seeking another companion for yourself?

Frankenstein, our first fur baby, is a spiffy young girl. I adore her to pieces and could cuddle with her all day. Unfortunately, she is an independent and active pup who doesn’t like to cuddle much. Part of the reason why I wanted a dog in the first place was to have unlimited cuddle time. That’s why when we considered extending our dog family, we knew we wanted a more relaxed lap dog.

  • Are you financially stable?

People wonder if the cost will double when adopting a new dog. It’s an important consideration when you consider extending your dog family. It makes sense that the cost will double as you will need almost two of everything. You may see that your pups like to share too. For example, my two girls sleep on the same bed. It’s something they’ve done since they were puppies. We’re able to cut costs by purchasing one bed every few months.

Also, their feeding is a unique.  Luna likes to wait until Frankie has finished eating, and then she goes to the bowl and finishes what’s left. When we would leave two bowls, one would always go uneaten. It’s good to make sure you are stable enough financially and plan on getting two of everything, but know it may be less in special circumstances and the personalities of your dogs.

  • Should we get a puppy or adult?

I think this question blends well with the first two questions above.  It depends on the type of companion you and your family needs. Before extending your dog family, consider the age of your dog, and yourself, and the level of activity required for both a puppy or adult. 

  • Should we adopt or buy?

I’m an advocate for adopting — I always say, “adopt adopt adopt!” I understand some of the arguments people make about buying a certain breed. Shelters don’t always have what you’re looking for, but organizations exist to help families find specific breeds for adoption. I strongly urge you to adopt and take the time to do some research if you have a specific breed in mind. You’ll be surprised how many purebreds are in need of adoption and a loving home. Adopted pets are great for extending your dog family. 

how you can benefit from extending your dog family

Extending your dog family has benefits for your own health and wellness.

  1. Extended lifespan – I always joke with my husband that getting a dog is scientifically proven to expand your lifespan; it makes sense that getting two dogs will double it right? (to be honest, I don’t know how scientifically correct my argument is. I wanted a second dog and was willing to argue anything so my husband would agree.)
  2. A great distraction – If a person is going through a rough patch or needs some new zest in life, extending your dog family is a wonderful and loving way to distract you from the stresses of life.
  3. Good exercise – You may think that because you already have one dog, the amount of exercise you will be receiving will stay the same.  If your new dog is a puppy, they will need more exercise than an adult and if they are accustomed to a different walk or play time schedule, you’ll need to make some adjustments to get everyone’s schedule’s in sync. More exercise for you in the short term. 
  4. Break up the monotony – If you’re dredging through the ritual of everyday life, as many people are, and you need something extra in life to break up the monotony, extending your dog family will do that.  The amount of joy and energy a new dog brings to your life is unmeasurable.

Thanks for taking the time to read. I’d love to hear about your experiences with extending your dog family. If you’d like to have a discussion, reach out to us on FacebookTwitter, or leave a comment below.

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