What Are the Pros & Cons of Adopting Two Dogs at Once?

Sometimes two pups are better than one.
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Opening your home and heart up to two new canine companions at once is a big decision. Whether you adopt two pooches together or get just one, or wait, depends on each dog's temperament, and whether you have the time and resources to care for both canines.

Constant Companionship

Adopting two pooches at once, whether young or old, means that each has a companion when you aren't there to play with them. This is definitely a "pro" if they get along well because they'll happily keep each other company, avoiding boredom and most behavioral issues. Unfortunately, if they don't get along, you'll have two pooches on your hands that get into scuffles regularly and could injure each other, which is a "con." If your heart decides that two pooches are the way to go, you can help to prevent territorial disputes by giving both pups their own dishes, crates and toys to play with. Usually, adopting two pooches of the opposite sex reduces issues with fighting due to territorial aggression, VeterinaryPartner.com says.

Twice the Price

Twice the canines equal twice the food, supplies, training and veterinary care. Keep in mind that the average pooch requires between $580 and $875 in care each year, depending on his size, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Multiply that figure by two and you have between up to $1,750 in annual costs. That's not including the initial expenses you'll face in the first year of ownership, which run between $784 and $968 per pooch, according to the ASPCA. Adopting a pup is a lifetime commitment -- those two pooches may live for nearly 20 years. That's a lot of time and money to invest, which are cons. If you have that time and funding available to you, though, you'll potentially wind up with twice the amount of attention and love from your new four-legged friends, a happy pro.

Bonded Dogs

Bonded pooches, usually littermates or dogs that have been together for a long time, can become distressed when the other isn't around, developing separation anxiety, a definite con. Meanwhile, two bonded pups might lack a desire to bond with you, another con. While it might seem like the deck is stacked against adopting two young pups, you can turn cons into pros with some work. Giving the dogs regular time apart from each other during the day can prevent overt attachments from developing, eliminating separation anxiety as a possible issue. Perhaps Fido keeps you company while Fluffy spends some time playing with your spouse -- this way you each have a canine companion to keep you company, which is a pro for you all.


According to the Montgomery County Animal Shelter of Texas, experts generally don't recommend adopting two pups at once because the cons tend to outweigh the pros. Coming into a new home is a pretty stressful time for new pets, amplified by if you have two new pups trying to fit into your home and routine. If you feel that you want to have two pooches as part of your family, take such an undertaking slowly instead of all at once, allowing at least a few months between adopting each dog. Of course, all pros and cons aside, sometimes circumstances, or just your heart, dictates that you adopt two pups together. If so, prevent the unexpected arrival of new puppies and other behavioral issues by having each pooch spayed or neutered.

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