First off, congrats on getting a new puppy!!!
1. How did you adjust to having two dogs rather than one? Especially if one was so much younger than the other? (We are wanting a young puppy) Or, if you got an older dog, how were things different there?
We got a 3 month old GSD puppy and at the time had a 14 year old sheltie. The puppy immediately loved him, he wasn’t so fond of the puppy. He wasn’t mean or aggressive, just kind of grumpy. We later found out it was because he was sick, rather than because he was jealous. We had been taking him to the vet weekly to try and get a handle on his thyroid problem only to find out he had an extremely aggressive cancer growing in his abdomen. We had to put him down 🙁 A few months after, my family adopted an 11 month old sheltie. He was being fostered by a family that had other dogs and he and my puppy immediately loved each other. They would play all day long if we let them and wear each other out.
In terms of 1 vs 2, it’s double the dogs that need to be walked, double the poop to pick up, and double the barking lol.
2. How did your dog adjust to having another dog always there? (I know she loves other dogs but I always worry about jealousy)
Our girl was super happy to have a playmate that wanted to play with her. We had no jealousy issues though we were careful to avoid anything that might trigger them. They each have their own crate in separate rooms, they have their own beds, bowls and their own toys although they share most of them.
3. How did the other dog adjust to suddenly having a new home with a new dog?
Our Sheltie was very very happy to be moving into a house with another dog. Unfortunately, I think he may have bonded more strongly to my dog than to my mom, whom he is supposed to belong to. This is probably because she doesn’t play with him that much and they are having a tough time bonding since he’s a very difficult dog.
4. If the other dog was a puppy, did your older dog regress in training at all? If so, how did you deal with it?
They were both fairly young and we didnt’ see any regression in training. However, since they’re both technically puppies, we need to train them more. They need to be trained both together and apart and we’ve had some issues with the sheltie bonding more to our GSD.
5. Is there a major change in cost? (Sometimes I expect it to double, other times I don’t see a major change happening)
Yes, there is a major change in cost. We have had to pay for…
- Almost twice the food – The sheltie eats less than my GSD since he’s smaller but we need to pay for and store almost twice the food. For us this means freezer space for their raw food. We have two fridges and have been making it work so far but we’re going to pick up a chest freezer off craigslist.
- Twice the treats – I have to put this in a separate category since for us it really is a separate expense. Our dogs are raw fed (which is actually cheaper than a lot of kibbles) and can’t eat junk treats/we would never feed them something dangerous like rawhide. We buy them bully sticks, trachea, gullet wraps etc from bestbullysticks.com since they’re crazy expensive in stores. We usually spent about $150 and order 2-3 times a year. They also need small cookies for training class.
- Twice the training classes – We’re very comitted to training and have both dogs in obedience. At the training club we go to, each class is 8 weeks long and $105 per dog. My GSD is on her 3rd, the sheltie is on his 2nd.
- Two pet insurance policies – Each breed is known for having different health problems and my mom’s sheltie likes to eat things he’s not supposed to. Pet insurance is a lot less than many vet bills so each dog has a policy. After carefully reviewing all the different contracts, went with Petplan which if you pay all at once is about $300ish per dog per year depending on which options you choose.
- Double the toys/beds/crates – The sheltie shreds beds so he’s gone through a few, they each have their own crate, and we have tons and tons of toys lol.
- Double the supplies – toothbrushes/toothpaste, collars (more than one for different needs, and different sizes as they grow), car seats or seat belts, leashes, poop bags etc.
- Double the grooming costs – sometimes they need a professional bath when they get into something really yucky, and the sheltie needs hair cuts. Early on they needed to have nails trimmed and anal glands expressed. You may need different grooming tools depending on their fur.
- Double the vet bills – routine vaccines, spay/neuter aren’t covered by insurance, as well as yearly exams, and small issues like a visit for an upset tummy. Your dogs might need teeth cleanings etc.
- Double the flea control – Frontline and advantage are fairly expensive and you will need to protect both dogs. We buy the XL dog size and partition it into smaller doses. Also you may need double the heart worm protection medication.
- Double the boarding costs – if you go out of town you need to pay to board two dogs or pay a pet sitter for two dogs. If you move somewhere and need to fly it’s two plane tickets for the pooches.
- Double the pet deposit – if you move, most places will make you pay for both dogs
6. Make me stress less!!! lol.
You’re right to want to be prepared, it is more work and more expense but it’s worth it. Our dogs are best friends and it’s wonderful to see they play together.