beautiful tabby cat at playThe delight and gratification a dog or cat brings to a household is undeniable, which is why it’s understandably hard to resist adding another pet to the mix when the opportunity presents itself. The sight of two dogs frolicking in the yard or two cats contentedly grooming one another simply can’t be beat.

While many multi-pet households function beautifully, others are not so fortunate. Make sure you, your family, and your current pet are ready for a new addition before taking the plunge.

Consider The Pet You Already Have

Before you start cruising the pet adoption websites, take an honest look at the personality and temperament of the pet you already have:

  • Is your current pet fully trained? If your dog is still chewing up your slippers or your cat is not using the litter box reliably you will need to get the problem resolved prior to adding a new pet to your home.
  • What is your pet’s temperament? If your furry friend is hyperactive or aggressive towards other animals, this will need to be addressed prior to adopting another pet.
  • Your current pet’s age makes a difference when bringing a new pet into the house. Senior pets and young, exuberant puppies often don’t mix well, while adult cats tend to accept the introduction of a kitten better than another fully-grown cat, for example.

Consider Your Family Dynamic

Your family dynamic can make or break a multi-pet household. Ask yourself the following questions before deciding on a second pet:

  • Are your children old enough and willing to help out in the care of multiple pets?
  • Do you and your family have the time in your schedules for the care and training of an additional pet?
  • Do you want a second pet to help ease your current pet’s separation anxiety? Unfortunately, the addition of another pet doesn’t usually help a pet who is already experiencing this issue and you may wind up with two pets who miss you while you’re away. Give us a call to discuss strategies for easing your pet’s anxiety before you consider a second pet.

Consider The Cost

With the addition of a second pet into your home, you will inevitably wind up spending twice the amount on:

  • Pet food
  • Supplies (crates, leashes, litter, toys, treats)
  • Veterinary care (wellness exams, vaccinations, parasite preventatives, emergency care)
  • Pet insurance, if you choose to go that route
  • Doggie daycare/dog walker (if applicable)
  • Kennel or pet sitter if necessary

 

Planning The Introduction Of A Second Pet

It would be nice if you could be assured that your current and new pets would instantly be the best of friends? Since this is often not the case, careful introductions and close monitoring are usually necessary when two pets meet for the first time and throughout the early days of cohabitation.

We offer the following tips when introducing two pets:

  • Even if your pet is friendly and social, it’s never safe to just throw two pets together in the same house, car, or yard for their first meeting.
  • The first meeting between two dogs should be in a neutral setting, if possible. Keep both dogs leashed at first, with one person per dog.
  • At the beginning, a new cat should be confined to one room of the house with his or her own litterbox, food, and water. Introductions should be made slowly over time and with close supervision.

If you have any questions regarding adding a second pet to your household, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We can’t wait to meet your new addition!