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Advice re. getting a second dog

HELP!!!

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Ariadne Ariadne SA Posts: 148
1 30 Jun 2013
Hi all,
I am having a quandary!
I have been considering adopting a second dog for some time now and I would like to know what are peoples experiences with having more than one dog. Things foremost on my mind:

1. Vet/food expenses.

2. Relations between the first and second child (how did dog no. 1 react when you introduced them to dog no. 2).

Of lesser note;

3. Fur factor.

4. Pong factor.

Anything. Hit me with your stories.
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*Steph* *Steph* VIC Posts: 363
2 30 Jun 2013
I have 3 dogs which adoped me at all different times. The first is a bit 'one of a kind' if you get my drift. He is dopey as but very territorial when it comes to strangers in his area. He loves the others now, I've had them all for a while but I don't remember any problems between them. The second is a bit more demanding when it comes to affection. She gets very jealous when any of the others are getting any but she only comes and sticks her head in the way, never aggressive or anything. I think I've been quite lucky with my lot though. No serious issues between them.
As far as expenses, I feed them all a high quality premium food which is quite expensive but I'd like to think they are all healthier for it. It depends how far your morals stretch, mine are fed a food that isn't cruelly tested on animals, which most of them unfortunatly are :-/. I looked into vegan food for them all and found that it would be more expensive again. I think we spend about $200-$250 a month on food which feeds a large, medium and small dog. Would also feed 2 large dogs.
As for the vet, I have known my vet since I moved here and fairly soon after I was put on an account where I pay a certain amount each month or so. But I also have several other companion animals which has added up vet bills over the years. It's all luck of the draw anyway, you might have a dog which is accident prone or has a weak immune system and spend more on them than 2 healthy, lucky dogs. Obviously when you have more than one, you pay more for vaccinations and yearly check ups.
What I really love about mine are that, as pack animals, they are never alone. I am the alpha but they also cope really well when I'm not around. I believe it's important for them to have that sense of family, but that also depends on your personal environment. If you work or study away from home quite a lot then another one will be very beneficial as long as it's one that gets along with the first. I know a lot of pro life shelters have a trial period which you might find very helpful to see how they interact and how much it changes for you.
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*Steph* *Steph* VIC Posts: 363
3 30 Jun 2013
Also
Fur is a condiment in my house and we are getting rid of the carpets eventually to hopefully help with the pong factor. All my dogs are indoor dogs and 2 are med-long haired. I don't own black clothes anymore..
Having said that I would rather the random hair on my clothes or in my food, than not have my babies. They are all worth it happy
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Deespark Deespark QLD Posts: 328
4 30 Jun 2013
I've had 3 dogs in the past. Deedee, Sparky and Ruby. Deedee sadly passed away and Ruby's travelling with my parents at the moment so I just have Sparky.

Deedee didn't like when we got Sparky. She snapped everytime he came near her and as he grew up they both fought. It was the worst when she got too old and weak to defend herself. She was never interested in other dogs though and we should have done a better introduction. Kept them separate for the most part, feed them both (especially her) treats when they were together, feed them in the same place, walk them. But we didn't, and we paid I guess.

Years later we introduced Ruby. Deedee, after dealing with Sparky who was much more annoying, was fine with her. Growled when she tried to play with her but that was it. She chose to just walk away and ignore her. Sparky went nuts at first, he's not socialized and is dog reactive. I spent the next 2 weeks taking them for walks together, feeding them treats together and rewarding the hell out of him when he was nice to her. I made sure to still give him lots of time without her, and spent lots of one on one time with him. Afther that they became the best of friends, always playing and he would even let her eat out of his food bowl.

Expenses will at least double. If it's a larger dog it'll cost more for food. If it's more prone to health problems, more vet bills. Don't forget you'll have to buy new supplies like leashes and bowls etc. Also training classes if you're doing them.

Fur again depends on what dog you get. Deedee shed more than Sparky so when we got him it didn't matter much, he barely sheds. Ruby however sheds like crazy. Vacuuming and brushing will help though.

Pong factor... Hmm I don't think there was much difference. As long as each dog was bathed regularly as long as what they slept on. We did end up getting a natural scented spray for dogs to make them smell nice, for one dog in between baths though.


I really miss having two dogs, Sparky did so much better with a companion. Even Deedee who he fought with, they still had some twisted friendship and liked having each other. I hate that he has to be alone when I go out or to work, he doesn't deal well with it, but I can't really have another dog right now... Two dogs is usually better than one I think haha, in the right situation of course.
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Ariadne Ariadne SA Posts: 148
5 30 Jun 2013
Thankyou Steph happy

Yes, one of the reasons I am seriously considering a second dog is that I believe my dog is lonely. She's only got me and I work full time. Because she is a tiny dog I am able to afford a good diet/vet care for her and that is the standard for any animal that comes into my home...which is why I really need to nut out the costs of maintaining two dogs. It would be unexpected health problems that would be the bugger because the dog I am looking at is older and I am not sure if insurance would cover it, although the shelter would disclose any existing health problems (surely?) I feed my dog a mix of vegan pet food (biopet dry and vegan pet canned) and organic meat and a mix of organic and conventional vegies (she has times when she completely goes off one and will exclusively feed on the other and vice versa so I have to keep both handy). She is also very healthy and other than immunisations and worming etc. I have almost never had any additional vet expenses with her in four years.
In my house I am alpha, but she is a very strong beta! She will not walk in front of me and heels naturally when we walk. She is unpredictable around other dogs and generally I keep her away from any areas where there will be alot of traffic; human, dog or car. She has met dogs that she has liked and other times I have had to pick her up and  apologise for her behaviour.
The dog I have found is a very small, very sweet and timid little girl. She is at the RSPCA shelter local to my work and they require that first dog must meet the new dog before you can adopt but I can honestly say that after a long drive my dog will not react normally as she will not be on her own territory. I am going to ring them tomorrow and ask about the trial as you suggested, I think that would be for the best.
Thankyou again!
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Ariadne Ariadne SA Posts: 148
6 30 Jun 2013
Just saw your post Deespark, thanks! happy

My dog has very sensitive skin and I have investigated with different vets (that has been the only health problem she has had) but have received different answers. She gets stinky very easily! I have to wash her once a week and purely by chance I found that Nature's Organics anti-dandruff shampoo really calms her skin down. There is no longer any redness or scratching...but she still stinks! I have recently started leaving her collar off because it was irritating her and I couldn't find any kind of hypo allergenic dog accessories. I have a very secure backyard and she is microchipped.
So pong factor is quite important in my house!

We have a large kennel and bed, how did your dogs like to sleep? I am hoping they would bunk down together.
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Deespark Deespark QLD Posts: 328
7 30 Jun 2013
Ariadne said:
Just saw your post Deespark, thanks! happy

My dog has very sensitive skin and I have investigated with different vets (that has been the only health problem she has had) but have received different answers. She gets stinky very easily! I have to wash her once a week and purely by chance I found that Nature's Organics anti-dandruff shampoo really calms her skin down. There is no longer any redness or scratching...but she still stinks! I have recently started leaving her collar off because it was irritating her and I couldn't find any kind of hypo allergenic dog accessories. I have a very secure backyard and she is microchipped.
So pong factor is quite important in my house!

We have a large kennel and bed, how did your dogs like to sleep? I am hoping they would bunk down together.
Heh... both Deedee and Sparky liked sleeping separately. This was really more Deedee's fault. She snapped at Sparky every time he tried to get close, so he in turn learned that dogs just aren't meant to get that close. He did always TRY to sleep with her though, and many times (winter especially) they would end up sleeping together. Sometimes even squished up in the one crate (the crate was open.... there was a huge dog bed next to it... but no, they slept together). So if I had of introduced them properly, yes they would have slept together.
It depends on your dogs. Don't get anything to expensive just yet. Two separate kennels might be better so they can have their own space, but they might decide they want to share anyway. You don't really know until you have the dog for a few weeks I guess haha
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Ariadne Ariadne SA Posts: 148
8 1 Jul 2013
Deespark said:
Ariadne said:
Just saw your post Deespark, thanks! happy

My dog has very sensitive skin and I have investigated with different vets (that has been the only health problem she has had) but have received different answers. She gets stinky very easily! I have to wash her once a week and purely by chance I found that Nature's Organics anti-dandruff shampoo really calms her skin down. There is no longer any redness or scratching...but she still stinks! I have recently started leaving her collar off because it was irritating her and I couldn't find any kind of hypo allergenic dog accessories. I have a very secure backyard and she is microchipped.
So pong factor is quite important in my house!

We have a large kennel and bed, how did your dogs like to sleep? I am hoping they would bunk down together.
Heh... both Deedee and Sparky liked sleeping separately. This was really more Deedee's fault. She snapped at Sparky every time he tried to get close, so he in turn learned that dogs just aren't meant to get that close. He did always TRY to sleep with her though, and many times (winter especially) they would end up sleeping together. Sometimes even squished up in the one crate (the crate was open.... there was a huge dog bed next to it... but no, they slept together). So if I had of introduced them properly, yes they would have slept together.
It depends on your dogs. Don't get anything to expensive just yet. Two separate kennels might be better so they can have their own space, but they might decide they want to share anyway. You don't really know until you have the dog for a few weeks I guess haha
Exactly, I can make up a temporary bed and then if they do decide to sleep in the same basket then I haven't wasted any money (and I hope that they do because I live in a two storey and I don't fancy having to lug two dog beds and two dogs up and down the stairs every morning!) Cheers!
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..1 ..1 TAS Posts: 2265
9 3 Jul 2013
I think the most important thing when getting another dog, is to make sure the two dogs get along before you adopt the second dog.

When I fostered dogs, I would always exercise my dog for at least an hour before taking him to meet the new dog. He was much more relaxed and calm without any excess energy. If you don't exercise your dog prior to meeting your new dog, the excess energy maybe expressed via dominance or aggression - this more likely to happen if you have to meet the new dog at the shelter, which is such a stressful place, so it's good to have your dog tired and relaxed before going there.

You want to find a dog who your dog is totally relaxed around, and doesn't show any 'iffy' behaviours, such as uncertainty, dominance, etc. Not all dogs will get along perfectly together, so you may have to meet a number of dogs before meeting the right dog for your current dog. One of my foster dogs went to a family who had been looking for the right dog for about a year.

As others have said, costs are definitely the biggest con to getting a second dog. Your dog should be receiving yearly vaccinations, monthly flea, tick and mite treatment, worming treatment every 3 months, bedding, grooming equipment, food, toys, collars, leashes, ID tags, registration... Dogs are expensive, and that price can double with a second dog. Definitely consider pet insurance.

Also, it's very important to make sure you have the time to take on a second dog. I was going to adopt a second dog to keep my boy company, but one dog is all I have time for at the moment. My dog is absolutely everything to me, so I put a lot of time and effort into him, and I just don't think I can put the same amount of time and effort into another dog. So I'm sticking with one for a few more years!

As for fur, the answer to all your concerns is a Furminator. They are amazing. When my sisters and I meet at my dad's place (generally on a daily basis) we have 5 dogs in one tiny house. All of the dogs get groomed with a Furminator at least once a week, and there is no hair anywhere in the house. They are amazing! I couldn't recommend them enough!

For the pong factor, keep your dogs on a high quality diet. Make sure they're being exercised daily, and aren't eating more than they need to. That along with Furminating, and a bath every few months should do the trick. Again, we do this with the 5 dogs, and none smell at all.
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Ariadne Ariadne SA Posts: 148
10 3 Jul 2013
Thanks Maggie happy

Today we had a meet and greet and unfortunately I don't think that it will work out with this particular dog. She was lovely and sweet and friendly, but she was that little bit too large and strong and playful and my little girl was overwhelmed (and bowled over a couple of times too!)
I will be looking for another with a similar temperament (eat, sleep, sleep, sleep, stare at my owner with love hearts in my eyes) and size. I will be taking my time with this decision. I've been considering off and on almost since we got her but I do think she would benefit from having a little friend around the house. I think the poor girl is lonely!
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