(Closed) Multiple Dog Owners. I need some advice!

posted 6 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
Member
1137 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Do you bring other dogs in your home already? If so, and your dog is fine about it, stop stressing. If you don’t, then you may want to, to see how your dog reacts to it.

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?

–Our dog was just about 1yr when we got our 8 week old puppy. It was back to basics, getting up nightly, going home at lunch, and potty training. It was an adjustment, but I had done it the year before so I knew I could do it again. The best part is they both had high energy levels. The worst part was that they both had high energy levels and wanted my attention for it!

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 dog has done well with having a new friend. He did get upset about his toys, but we put them all away and worked on it. He was rough with the puppy, but constant monitoring and correcting helped this. We do have jealousy though, at least with the original dog. If you focus on the other dog, he has to get in the middle of it. We think it’s just his personality though, as if Darling Husband touches me, he gets in between us as well. He wants to always be the center…

3. How did the other dog adjust to suddenly having a new home with a new dog?

–We got a puppy, which was just taken from his Mom. He had littermates (I think there was 8 of them), Mom, Dad, and the people had another dog as well. It was a smooth transition though. The pup cried a bit for a few days, but he got through it.

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?

–We had no issues, and actually found the puppy learned quicker because of the older dog.

5. Is there a major change in cost? (Sometimes I expect it to double, other times I don’t see a major change happening)

–Double your vet bills, and depending on the size, double the food. And if one gets sick, you have a good chance both will.

Post # 4
Member
5148 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Going from 1 dog to 2 dogs really isn’t much different. It’s not that much more work. (Now going from 2 to 3 dogs, that’s a world of difference, because then you have the “pack dynamic” going on.)

 

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 just got the second dog and went on with life. We added an older dog, we already had a younger one. I’ve also added a puppy when we already had a senior dog, that also works fine, the puppy tend to bring out the youthfulness of the older dog.

2. How did your dog adjust to having another dog always there? (I know she loves other dogs but I always worry about jealousy)

Dogs learn to adjust. Just make sure everything is fair, and give your existing dog a little more attention than the new dog at first, so they don’t feel like they are being replaced or left out. 

3. How did the other dog adjust to suddenly having a new home with a new dog?

The adjustment was smooth. It helps if your existing dog has been socialized around other dogs.

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?

Nope. Start with the rules and training right away for the new dog, don’t let the existing dog see the new dog getting away with things that are “wrong”.

5. Is there a major change in cost? (Sometimes I expect it to double, other times I don’t see a major change happening)

Depends. Vet bills of course will double. Food, it depends on the size of the dogs. Things like leashes, toys, etc., can be shared between the dogs. If you rent, you’ve already paid a pet deposit so no extra money there. If your city requires licensing, sometimes there’s a discount for multiple pets, sometimes not. 

Post # 5
Member
5479 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I have 3 dogs.  Here are a few tips to help the transition (PP got the nail on the head with most of it… no need to rehash!)

-introduce the new dog to your current dog in a neutral environment.  I did this with dog #2 as well as dog #3.  This way, the existing dog(s) get to bring a friend home instead of having their territory invaded.

-if the current dog is not on a set feeding schedule, get that way.  I had a great dane who was able to free-feed all day.  I gave him a set amount of food and he ate when he wanted and stopped when he wanted.  Introduce dog #2, and I had to separate them, feed them, and take up the extra food to make sure there weren’t any incidents.  There were not, but dog #1 learned within a few days to eat everything he was given as I was going to take it up in about 10 minutes.

-now with 3 dogs, they all eat in the same room at the same time.  However, I put dog#3 in a kennel, and feed dog#1 (great dane) on top of a chair, and dog #2 (mutt) under the chair. 

I have been very lucky not to have any food/resource guarding.  They do get a little greedy for attention, and since 2 of them are great danes I feel like I’m buying giant bags of dog food constantly.  Vet bills went up a LOT, but that’s mostly because of their size.  I very much enjoy having multiple dogs, and if you’re mentally/financially prepared, it is a blast!  Good luck finding the perfect new member of your pack!

Post # 6
Member
7312 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

I am subscribing to this thread. We will be bringing a family member’s dog into our forever home as soon as we move, and adding a puppy sometime thereafter, so this is really good info.

Post # 7
Member
1052 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

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.

Post # 8
Member
5479 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Oh, and FYI- you can order generic preventive meds on 1800petmeds.com.  You’ll have to include veterinary information as heartguard is a prescription, but I have not had many issues getting stuff through them.  Generic Heartguard is called iverhart or ivermectin, and generic Frontline is firponil or fiproguard. 

Post # 9
Member
5148 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I don’t keep flea preventative on my dogs, I hate using unneccesary chemicals on them. Unless they are going somewhere I think they are likely to pick up fleas, such as being boarded or going to the dog park on a regular basis, I don’t do it. Never had a flea outbreak. One of my dogs did get fleas when I took her to my destination wedding, but when my parents dropped her off, she got a good long bath, a Capstar pill, and dusted with diatomaceous earth, stopped them cold. I’d rather give a pill every few years as a reaction than flea-drops every month as a preventative.

Heartworm preventative also depends a lot on where you live. If I lived in Florida, I’d do it year-round. But I live in Kansas, I only give it for about 3 months during the summer. (Note: My choice has nothing to do with the cost of the preventative, if it were a flat-fee, I’d still choose to only give the pills during the time when my dogs would actually realistically be able to contract heartworms.)   http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/2008/05/billion-dollar-heartworm-scam.html 

I also NEVER have my dogs professionally groomed. I’m a firm beleived that unless you have a breed like a poodle, bichon, yorkie, etc. (the ones that have coats that don’t stop growing at a certain length), it’s not worth it. Even then, I’d opt to learn to do the grooming myself rather than pay someone every 6-8 weeks. I have a long-haired breed, papillons, so I also don’t trust a professional groomer to not cut what shouldn’t be cut. The only thing I would pay a groomer to do would be anal glands, and unless your dog has problems those usually don’t need touched.

I don’t have “pet insurance”, I just keep money in an emergency fund that can be used for that. Do budget for emergencies and unexpected vet visits. Things come up. Just a couple months ago we spent $500+ on one of our dogs for a scratched eye (corneal ulcer) that took about 4 weeks worth of antibiotics and eye drops to treat. 

Post # 10
Member
1052 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

@ abbyful

I think flea preventative and heart worm meds depend a lot on where you live. We live in Los Angeles and while we don’t have to worry about heart worms, fleas are unavoidable. We’ve had terrible flea outbreaks lately and my GSD is allergic to fleas. Fleas are becoming very resistant to preventatives all over the country. We tried DE on her coat, in our yard, garlic in her food and water for months, lavender etc, basically all natural preventatives you can find. None of them worked and she was chewing her fur out so badly that her tummy and tush were bald. She’s now on flea meds at least once a month, sometimes twice if it’s a warm month. Since OP is considering moving to CA, fleas will likely be something she has to deal with.

For grooming, we don’t worry about our GSD (except on the few occasions she and our sheltie rolled in poo – ugh!) but our sheltie does need to be professionally cut every so often. We’ve had shelties for years and have tried grooming them ourselves with no luck. Even with the proper tools some things are better left to the professionals. We certainly don’t have him done every 6-8 weeks though, a couple times a year is all he needs and it usually runs us about $30. For anal glands, puppies occasionally have problems and dogs can have problems when you switch foods. Those are best left to the professionals as well.

Pet insurance for us was a tough decision. 100-500 vet bills we can deal with, but we were much more concerned with the serious problems GSDs are prone to like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, bloat, pyometra, osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, mammary gland tumors etc. Conditions like those are thousands and thousands of dollars to treat and since our girl was a rescue we know nothing about her likely poorly bred background. This may not apply to every breed but for us it’s well worth the cost. If she lives 12 years at $330 a year, that’s about 4 grand which would only cover a fraction of hip dysplasia surgery. I also don’t ever want to have to choose between chemotherapy or surgery to treat my dogs cancer and paying my mortgage and pet insurance ensures that I won’t have to. Surgery to remove toys/rocks/obstructions from the intestines are also hideously expensive, which is why our sheltie has pet insurance too. If you decide to get pet insurance, you need to carefully review each company you consider since many have different exclusions.

Post # 11
Member
1137 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@saraja87:  I 100% agree on the flea treatments! We live in Northern, VA and are right by a pond, so we definitely do flea/tick treatments year round. I also do the lymes vaccine. Having a black dog makes spotting ticks more difficult too.

As for pet insurance, we didn’t do it. Realize the majority of them are going to exclude hereditary problems (IE hip dysplasia – I already shelled out close to 5k in surgery/xrays for my one dogs HD – this covered both hips). It may be great for some things, but it seems the things you really want it to cover, it won’t.

Post # 13
Hostess
11168 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

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?

It is just like having a second baby I suppose. Once you have finished potty training you have to do it all over again. The same thing goes for chewing issues, barking etc. It just takes patience because if you don’t address the new pups issues the older dog may regress, we had this issue briefly with barking.

2. How did your dog adjust to having another dog always there? (I know she loves other dogs but I always worry about jealousy)

My male Pom was about 1 1/2 when we got our second Pom and he didn’t bat an eye to having a new “friend” in the house. They did gang up on the cat but that is a totally seperate issue. Those two are now joined at the hip and hate to be seperated, I even have to do joint vet visits or they freak out.

3. How did the other dog adjust to suddenly having a new home with a new dog?
Our female settled right in and didn’t seem to have any issues. She followed the male around and genuinely just seemed very happy with everything. I really can’t say we had any rehoming issues.

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?

My female pup was a barker and so my older male started to regress in that way but we addressed it immediately. I will say that when we got our female my male immediately stopped with his destructive chewing habits. It was almost as if he was bored before hand and now with a playmate he wasn’t interested in destroying everything in sight.

5. Is there a major change in cost? (Sometimes I expect it to double, other times I don’t see a major change happening)

I would say there is definitely a change in cost. Double vet bills, twice as much food consumed, double the cost of treats, grooming etc. It does add up I won’t lie but for us it was worth the benefits to us and our male to have a second dog.

6. Make me stress less!!! lol.

Does this help?



Post # 14
Member
284 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

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 had a 4 year old beagle when we got our second dog (an 8 week old American Eskimo). Our beagle helped to train the American Eskimo as far as potty training and walking on a leash. Our beagle was always a grazer–so it was an adjustment for her because we had to pick up the dog food after meal times or the American Eskimo would eat it. The beagle figured it out after about a week, that when food was down–she needed to eat NOW! They are now both grazers and eat the same food, so it’s not so much of an issue.

2. How did your dog adjust to having another dog always there? (I know she loves other dogs but I always worry about jealousy)

This was not an issue for us at all. I actually had the beagle when I was with my ex, who also had a beagle. They were very attached, so she was happy to have another dog in the house. They are now inseperable and I can’t take one anywhere (even to the mailbox) without taking both of them.

3. How did the other dog adjust to suddenly having a new home with a new dog?

The only issue we had with this was the American Eskimo took about a year before he would sleep through the night! I seriously felt like I had a newborn child in my house! We tried everything, from letting him sleep in the crate alone, putting the two crates together so they slept “next” to each other, putting the crate in our bedroom, putting the crates in the bedroom with the door open–it took a good year before we could go to bed without him howling or waking up an hour later howling.

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?

No–the older dog (beagle) helped a lot to train the puppy, we were lucky with that one!

5. Is there a major change in cost? (Sometimes I expect it to double, other times I don’t see a major change happening)

Where I noticed the largest increase in cost was at the vet and at the kennel. I didn’t notice it so much with food/toys/etc. because I just buy them as I need them. Our vet bills doubled (2 sets of shots, 2 physical exams, etc.) As did our bills to kennel the dogs when we went out of town. The American Eskimo is also a long hair dog that requires grooming, something we never had to do with the beagle, so that was a new expense. Beyond that–plan for unexpected vet bills. At 2 years old, our American Eskimo spent 12 days in the doggy ICU. He’s since been back twice for hemorrhagic gastroenteritis and epilepsy. This was something we had never anticipated, but are breed specific issues. So, if you have not already picked a breed, I would spend a little time doing some research on hereditary issues with the breed and prepare a nest egg in case they do happen to you. We looked into puppy insurance, but they covered less than 1% of the hospital bills, so to me, it wasn’t worth it to spend $20-$30 per month just in case he went into the hospital and we would only get $100 back for the duration of the hospital stay.

6. Make me stress less

Don’t stress =) Bringing a second dog home is a great adventure! Just prepare yourself and know what you are getting yourself into! If you don’t have a fenced in yard and will be taking them out on a leash all the time (we did this in the beginning) make sure you are ready for the logistics of that–sometimes holding two leashes, poop bags, your keys in one pocket and your cell phone in the other is tricky!

Post # 15
Member
784 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

1. How did you adjust to having two dogs rather than one? Especially if one was so much younger than the other? It was very (suprisingly) natural for us. I remember as we were driving home with our new puppy, I had this feeling of “Oh my god. I love Ali so much. How am I ever going to love another creature as much as I love her?” And soon after she got home, it became natural. Your heart just grows to fit your babies needs =)

2. How did your dog adjust to having another dog always there? This was interesting for us, because when the second dog came home (after we got her she had to spend 14 days in the hospital for Parvo) she needed 24 hours attention. She was on 13 medications from the hospital that were to be administered from 3 am to midnight every hour or half hour depending on when on the med. So I thought Ali would be a lot more jealous because 100% of my time was devoted to Cosmo, but she was fine with it. It’s natural for an adult dog to understand when a puppy is sick or hurt and they just care about it.

3. How did the other dog adjust to suddenly having a new home with a new dog? After the hospital, she was just so happy to be out of isolation. She was definitely weary of certain objects that she had never seen, but she adjusts well. If you give them lots of love and keep the place they feed regular and the same spot every day, they will adjust well.

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?  No, Ali did not. I’ve never heard of this happening, but I suppose it could!! Neither of my dogs ever did obedience.

5. Is there a major change in cost? Yeah!!!! All of Cosmo’s shots were CHEAP! Ali weighs 60 lbs and Cosmo weighs 6. So Ali’s vet bills as a puppy were all like 300 but Cosmo’s (after the 4500 vet bill) were like 60!!!

6. Make me stress less!!! lol. You will be fine, you totally have the mentality and of course your are nervous.  I was nervous too, but you will eventually just be happy once you guys get into your routine!

Post # 16
Member
784 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

Also, to make you feel better and stress less… My girls love each other SO much. They are literally like they were sisters even though there is 55 lbs of weight in between them. They cuddle together, they are not happy when the other is gone, and they look out for each other when on walks. They are so cute and it makes me wayyyy happy

The topic ‘Multiple Dog Owners. I need some advice!’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors