Dogs are social animals, hardwired for companionship and cheerful when spending time with others. That joy is part of what inspires many of us to adopt a second – or even a third – dog. There are other good reasons to become a multidog household, including the fact that a singleton often benefits from the camaraderie, stress relief, confidence building, and even mental stimulation of a live canine buddy.
When deciding to add another dog to your family, it’s important to consider things like play style, temperament, height, age, and even gender. Think about the types of dogs your pup will hang out with in the dog park or that seem to calm him down the most. While dogs often prefer those who are similar to themselves, especially when it comes to playing when yours are shy or fearful, a more confident companion can be just what she needs. Make sure you are able to accommodate another dog and understand their needs – training, grooming, nutrition – and have a plan to meet them. Once you’ve decided on a potential candidate, introduce the dogs in a low-stress environment, ideally on a leash in a neutral area with a fence between them (leashes can lead to meetings). Here’s our top tip: groom from a shelter or try rescue. In our experience, many a permanent pairing resulted from a successful “test run”. Have fun with matchmaking!