How to Take Care of Multiple Dogs

by Amy Hunter
    Two dogs can mean double the fun, but they also mean more work and expense.

    Two dogs can mean double the fun, but they also mean more work and expense.

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    Living with more than one dog provides companionship for your pets and can be enjoyable as an owner. Opposite sex pairings typically get along better than same sex groupings. Even if you get two females and raise them together from puppies, you may find they don't get along as adults.

    Step 1

    Create separate feeding areas. No matter how great your dogs get along, they need separate spots to eat. Competition over food can lead to fights. If you typically set food out and let your dog snack throughout the day, you may want to switch to a more formal feeding time when adding additional dogs. Set the food out, then after 30 minutes pick the bowls up. Your pups will quickly learn to eat what they want when it is offered.

    Step 2

    Provide individual attention to each dog. It is tempting to dote over the new addition, but your older dog is not used to the competition, and if he feels ignored, he can quickly become jealous of the new dog. Provide one on one attention to each dog, and playtime with the dogs as a group, to enhance bonding.

    Step 3

    Pay attention to grooming and training needs. Owning more than one dog does increase your time commitment, and it is important that you don't skimp on grooming and training. Regular grooming saves time by preventing mats from developing and dog hair from overtaking your house. It also gives you a chance to carefully examine your dog for early warning signs of health issues, such as bald spots, excessive hair loss or irritated skin.
    It is easy to let training time slip, particularly if your dog is generally well mannered, but regular tune-ups are necessary to keep your dog listening to you and paying attention. Five to 10 minutes, several times a week, is enough to remind your dog how to behave.

    Step 4

    Plan for medical expenses. More than one dog means higher veterinary expenses, but this is an area in which you cannot afford to skimp. Puppies need a full set of vaccinations, and adult dogs require boosters and parasite preventatives. Some veterinarians provide multiple pet discounts, and others will write you a prescription so you can order preventatives online. Talk with your vet about ways to save money on healthcare.

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Amy Hunter has been a writer since 1998. She writes about health and lifestyle issues and enjoys writing about hiking, camping, trail running and other outdoor activities. Her work has appeared in "Sacramento Parent," ASPCA's "Animal Watch" and other print and online publications. She is the author of "The History of Mexico" and "Tony Gonzalez: Superstar of Pro Football," aimed at young-adult readers.

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