Gen Y Dogma: Is It Time For A Second Pooch?
Christina Peden is feeling the urge to add to her family… with another dog! Like a responsible pet parent, she weighs the pros and cons before coming to a decision.
To get a second dog or not to get a second dog?
That is the question.
Lately, I can’t seem to help contemplating whether we should get another dog. When you already have one, it doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to bring another into the fold. After all, you’re already doing all the things that come along with dog ownership.
The walks, the constant sweeping and vacuuming of endless piles of fur, picking up poop… would it really be so bad to have one more pup in the house? (I suspect this is also how people go down the road of having “just one more” child, but I digress.)
Right now, this is sort of a mini-debate in our little household. If it came down to it, I would happily adopt another dog. More to love, right? I mean, if I could, I would adopt ALL the dogs. All. Of. Them.
My boyfriend Ryan is a little more pragmatic about such things, though he’s a huge animal lover too (and I hope to eventually be able to wear him down — muhahahaha).
That said I realize that there are pros and cons to getting another dog, especially since we both work full time and live in a large city.
So here it is: my list of pros and cons (or yay and nays, as the case may be) for getting a second dog — or not. If you’re on the verge becoming a multi-dog household, I’m sure you’ll be able to relate.
Company for Matilda
This is a big one for me. I feel really bad that she’s on her own for most of the day. Our dog walker Murielle takes Matilda out on a group jaunt to the dog park for an hour or two in the afternoon, but I can’t help but wish she had some company for those other hours in the day. I mean sure, she has our cat Oscar, but somehow I don’t think he makes a big effort to come snuggle with her while she’s crated in the kitchen.
If we had another dog, I can just imagine them curling up and falling asleep together after we leave in the morning, and I’d feel a little less terrible about going off to work if I knew they had each other.
Someone to play with
Sometimes when we go to the dog park, there aren’t any other dogs there or the ones who aren’t into the (totally non-aggressive) wrestling kind of play Matilda is. She loves to play and I want her to get all her crazy Border Collie super-rambunctious heebie jeebies out, but that won’t happen if she doesn’t have another pooch to do it with.
If we adopted another high-energy dog, they could tire each other out. Ryan and I could run all day with Matilda and not get her to the level of tired she needs to be at; only another pup is truly capable. It seems pretty straightforward… right?
Rescuing a dog, hello?
There are so many dogs out there waiting for their forever homes… and I want to adopt all of them. In a perfect world, that would be possible. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, but I can rescue at least one more, can’t I?
And the thing is, even though Ryan acts like he doesn’t want another dog, he’s the one who keeps showing me profiles of rescues. I’m not the one breaking my own heart here by scouring PetFinder.com and other rescue sites. It’s. All. Him. And he knows what a sucker I am for animals of any kind, so if he really, truly, somewhere deep down inside doesn’t want another dog… why is he looking at them and showing them to me? Secretly, I think he’s full of crap when he says he doesn’t want another one (wink wink).
Related: 5 Reasons My Dog Is A Dick!
Yep, this is still a sticking point. We don’t have a yard, and I really wish we did. We don’t plan on moving out of the city any time soon and even if you have one, backyards here aren’t very big, so I don’t know that our dogs exactly be running around in the yard anyways.
Still, it would be nice to at least have a yard they could do their business in without us having to get dressed and hook them up to their leashes.
Mo’ money, mo’ problems
Money is also a factor you need to take into consideration when you’re thinking about adopting a pet. With a dog and cat, we’ve already got a lot on our plates, financially. While we don’t necessarily struggle to pay for our pets’ expenses right now, it’s still something we have to think about. Double the cost on dog food, toys, treats, dog walking… the list could go on (on and on).
This would probably be the biggest factor involved in us not getting a second dog. Having Matilda has shown us that the unexpected can occur and add up — a little kennel cough here, some pink eye there, not to mention the unforeseen emergencies that can come up. Those are the things that can hit your bank account like ton of bricks, and for which we may not be prepared.
Masters of destruction
As much as I’m pretty much used to having dog hair on my clothes, getting drooled on, picking up poop and my dog destroying the things I love, I’m trying to imagine that multiplied by two.
There are some days when you come home to your pooch having destroyed yet another lint roller or pair of shoes and you Just. Can’t. Deal. Or at least, you feel like you can’t. So again, I try to imagine that feeling multiplied by two and to be honest? It can seem a little daunting.
Also, Matilda is freaking smart. What if the other dog we adopt is equally as smart? They could totally work together to destroy the apartment. Last night, Ryan and I watched a Youtube video of dog that had learned to open the fridge and freezer while his owners were out… and trail his messy, stolen feast all over the house. Can you imagine? I can, and it’s not a pretty picture.
Well, that’s my list so far. Are there any pros or cons I missed in my “get a second dog” debate? What you would do if you were us?
Christina Peden is a lifelong animal lover and avid wordsmith. She lives in Toronto with her boyfriend Ryan where they are proud pet parents to puppy, Matilda and cat, Oscar. In her spare time, she can be found enjoying Toronto, Canada’s all-too-short patio season, taking advantage of the city’s numerous parks or curled up with a good book.