Top 10 Reasons for Adopting Two Bonded Dogs
When I made the decision to work from home a couple of years back, I had two reasons to celebrate. No more commuting and, at long last, I’d be able to adopt a dog. You see, I was raised in a multi-pet family and while I had always had two, three or more felines to come home to during my single gal days, I missed that warm welcome and special relationship that I felt only a pooch could bring.
Fast forward a couple decades and I now found myself scouring the adoption websites in search of a forlorn-looking face that was just waiting for someone to swoop in and rescue him. Now for anyone who has adopted, you know it’s not an easy feat. It took forever to do, and while I silently damned those sites that allowed me to fall in love with their pups (imagining the long walks we would take, the car rides we would share and how much fun it would be to hang out on my deck), the truth is, most never even responded to my inquiries. Nothing. Dead Air.
But there was an upside to this. The delay did cause me to rethink the process a little more. You see, initially I wanted any (and every) dog that looked sad and in need of love. But in actuality, by filling out all those online questionnaires I was able to really hone in on my what my best buddy would look like. I realized I wanted something smaller than a Great Dane but larger than a Chihuahua. Sex? Doesn’t’ matter. Shedding? Who cares (I have cats so that ship sailed long ago). Age? No biggie.
But one site in particular shared video interviews with their rescued dogs, including a discussion of all his special quirks and talents. What I was hearing more and more, was how well the dog in question interacted with his new pack. How he enjoyed playing with other dogs. How he would do well in any family with other pooches. You get the picture… my cat pack alone just wasn’t going to cut it.
So, my search began to include those classed as “bonded” and in need of a “together” forever home. Often these dogs have come from the same household and have been removed under traumatic circumstances. An owner has died or, in my case it was an animal hoarding situation where my soon-to-be family members had shared a space. Snap – did I strike gold. My two gals (described as sisters, but I think are likely mom/daughter) are a dream team. I can’t imagine one without the other and will be forever thankful that I decided to go the BOGO adoption route.
Now, while you may instantly think “twice the expense” there are so many added benefits to adopting bonded dogs that it makes the extra costs seem negligible. And it’s the perfect route to take if you are thinking that further down the line you might like to add a second dog. You see, there’s no breaking in period where your established dog and this newly homed fur-kid have to be introduced, chaperoned or separated.
While the benefits really are too numerous to list, here are just 10:
1. They keep each other company. While you never have to think about loneliness when you have a couple of felines, having to leave the house for any length of time when you have a new pooch can be problematic. Separation anxiety is real and can result in behaviors that range from tearing the house apart to incessant barking, chewing and relieving themselves on the floors and carpet. With two dogs that are known to (and comfortable with) one another, you don’t experience this same angst. Because they feel safe, content and confident with their best friend always present, your absence is less likely to be an issue. And with my two, they are quite content to curl up on the sofa (sometimes with a cat or two) while they wait for my return. (photo credit: Marilyn Volan/shutterstock)
2. They entertain one another. My one caveat to adopting a rescue was that whoever I brought into the house, had to be cool with my cats. Which meant no hounds or terriers (unless they were proven to be good with smaller animals). Because my two dogs are instant playmates, they’re happy to run around in the back yard, chase squirrels and follow one another around. A great way to burn off energy. If one goes out alone, they will return within minutes, moping and ready to come back in. So, having a second dog that can help incite and maintain activity is a big plus. And because they are burning off all this energy, they simply aren’t interested in chasing cats. (photo credit: alexei_tm/shutterstock)
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3. They encourage lots of conversation with other dog-walking pet parents. Particularly when I dress them in their matching ski-jackets. Now I’m not one to go the matchy-matchy route with my pets, but the cold weather had arrived and they needed something warm to wear. The local pet shop didn’t have much variety and only one color – red – so suffice it to say these girls really pop when running around at the dog park. But this leads to conversations with other pet parents who are curious as to their breed, their origins, are they siblings and how old they are. We meet other similar breeds and share tips on grooming, health issues and behavioral patterns. Conversation starters that might not have sparked if I were walking just one. (photo credit: Javier Brosch/shutterstock)
4. I’ve helped to save two lives, not one. While I’d like to think that someone would have eventually chosen these two, the truth is that they had been up for adoption for seven weeks already. Its difficult to think they would have been separated in order to make them more adoptable, but that was where it was leading. Instead of rocking their worlds all over again, bringing two bonded dogs into your home gives them a much-needed second chance. And as I said before, I had applied to numerous sites with what I thought were great credentials – work from home, fenced yard with easy access, lots of walking trails nearby – and I received no response at all. What opened the door was a willingness to welcome two smaller dogs into my home. Worth considering if you’ve also hit an adoption wall. (photo credit: W_NAMKET/shutterstock)
5. Training is easier than you’d think. My two rescues were in the process of being socialized, but after six-plus years of living in a hoarding / puppy mill situation, they had never been trained or even walked on a leash. So, I had my work cut out for me. But similar to the old adage “monkey see – monkey do”, they tended to learn off one another. While one was a quick study when it came to rewards-based training and sitting on command, the other was extremely timid and reacted as if being scolded when I repeated directions. So, I backed off, and let her learn by watching her best friend. They are now able to respond to the basic commands when I speak slowly, deliberately and with my direction being toward the more outgoing, responsive pooch. (photo credit: Cryptographer/shutterstock)
6. It can be easier to integrate two dogs into your home. Bonded dogs come with a natural support system – their partner. This gives them the comfort and confidence to more readily adapt to a new home environment. Now I’m not saying it’s an easy transition for any animal, but it helps eliminate the fear and isolation that can come with new routines, food, sounds and surroundings. And these stressers can happen whether you’ve just adopted a new pup or an older dog. With rescue dogs that have been in a shelter environment or a hoarding situation like mine, they are typically anxious and already on edge. Sharing this new homing experience with their canine buddy can go a long way in alleviating reactive behaviors. (photo credit: Labusova Olga/shutterstock)
7. It’s my experience that they tend to not be picky eaters. Dogs are pack animals and innately tend to be opportunistic when it comes to food. When dogs have come from a situation where there are multiple dogs – such as a puppy mill or shelter – they can often revert to an alpha dog mentality. Which means that if they aren’t the alpha, they have to wait to eat and ultimately end up with whatever is left. As a result, when a dog is in a new environment where there are other animals (including his best buddy), you may find he tends to gobble. This may resolve itself over time, but introducing a puzzle dish or snuffle mat may be helpful. (photo credit: elbud/shutterstock)
8. They’re more likely to live a good, long life. Studies show that animals who have bonded with other animals tend to live longer, healthier lives on average, than those who are lone pets. Again, dogs are pack animals and rely on the support and guidance of one another to survive in the wild. This basic instinct remains in domesticated animals and is one reason that certain breeds require a strong owner who can establish themselves as the “pack leader” when it comes to training. They simply won’t listen if they don’t respect you or consider you the top dog. So, at the end of the day, it seems your mini-pack of you plus two will be more inclined to have the physical health and emotional well-being to be your loyal companions for many years to come. (photo credit: Ksenia Raykova/shutterstock)
9. They’re great on long car rides. Like kids who are constantly asking “are we there yet”, there’s nothing worse than a bored, antsy dog in the back seat who jumps up each time you turn a corner or stop for a red light. While I know they would be happier riding shotgun up front, it isn’t safe or logistically possible, with two. But how boring is it to sit alone in the back for a long drive. Not so much a problem when there are two. While my gals are not the open-window-head-hanging-out kind of dogs, they’re happy to snuggle into their blanket (heated for colder winter drives) and wait it out. And when their kongs are loaded with treats, it just doesn’t get any better. (photo credit: Shuang Li/shutterstock)
10. They provide a constant source of physical comfort to one another. A dog that has just been weaned from his litter or raised in a puppy-mill-like situation has already experienced the comfort that comes from having a physical connection with other dogs. Whether they’re siblings, a parent/pup relationship or have simply been raised together, the emotional well-being they have received through the ongoing contact with other animals in their pack should never be under-estimated. By bringing bonded dogs into your home, you not only allow them to maintain this level of physical and emotional support but encourage them to be receptive to the new surroundings and loving relationship you bring. (photo credit: RedThinkHead/shutterstock)
More by Mary Simpson