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How Many Dogs Should I Adopt at the Same Time?

Adopting a dog is so exciting, not just for us but for the dog as well. I don’t think there is much that can match the feeling of giving a previously unwanted dog a new beginning. Of course, you do have the option to adopt more than one dog; here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

Adopting One Dog…At a Time

Adopting two or more puppies together is not advisable. Similar to purchasing siblings from the same bred litter, two puppies are double the costs, cleaning up, management and training. Failure to treat each pup as an individual with individual needs might very well lead to behavioral problems.

If you are going to be a first-time pet guardian, adopt one dog because sharing your life with a pet is going to bring changes to your life. Once you and the dog have found balance in the home, you can look at adopting another dog.

To adopt another dog, make sure that your current dog will be comfortable with sharing his space with another pet. If your current dog has behavioral issues, be sure to address those with the help of a professional, before adding another.

Two dogs, one tan, one black sitting, looking up at the camera.
Many rescues want bonded pairs to be adopted together. (Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash)

Adopting More Than One Dog

However, if you are a more experienced dog owner, adopting two older social dogs together can work very well. Introductions can be set up between the dogs that you have your eye on, to see if they would get along. Often dogs get paired up at the shelter already, and if they can live together in a shelter environment without any issues, they will likely be great companions in a home!

Many rescues want bonded pairs to be adopted together, mostly because separating them could be detrimental to their well-being. Pairs like these are not very common though and many dogs who were surrendered together, can be separated and go to different homes. Keep in mind, bonded pairs do need some behavioral work, helping them learn to be able to cope without one another in cases such as vet stays, where one dog will have to cope without the other one during that time.

Adopting one dog, or three, still remains a big commitment and a decision that should not be taken lightly. Ideally, we have to plan and prepare as much as we can before bringing a rescue home. Their lives have been uprooted at least once already. When we bring them home, it should be their forever home.

About the Author

Company logo for the author's training school, Doggo Genius Force Free Dog Training

Tersha Bateman is a qualified, accredited dog trainer at DoggoGenius in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has experience with all types of scenarios from hand raising orphaned puppies, rehabilitating severely neglected and traumatized dogs, working with highly aggressive and reactive dogs, to training shelter staff and teaching vital skills to help pet dogs and their owners live their best lives together.  She is also a dog training and behavior facilitator at an animal behavior college. All of this is done using a mindful, force-free philosophy and modern scientific training techniques.

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