Will getting a second dog help my dog with separation anxiety?
If you’re dealing with a dog suffering from separation anxiety, you might be considering the idea of bringing a second dog into your home. The thought process is understandable: if your dog doesn’t want to be alone, perhaps the companionship of another dog could alleviate their anxiety. However, the reality is that getting a second dog may not necessarily be the solution to your first dog’s separation anxiety.
Before you decide to bring a second dog into your home, there are several factors you need to consider:
- Your Desire for a Second Dog: It’s important to genuinely want a second dog, not just get one to help your first dog. If your primary reason for getting a second dog is to alleviate your first dog’s separation anxiety, it might not be the right decision.
- Financial Implications: A second dog means additional expenses, including food, veterinary care, training, daycare, and other pet-related costs. It’s crucial to ensure you can comfortably afford these additional expenses.
- Potential for Double Trouble: There’s a chance that the second dog could also have separation anxiety. This would mean you now have two dogs to train and manage, which could complicate matters. Furthermore, your first dog’s anxiety could potentially make the second dog more anxious when they’re left alone together.
If you’re still considering getting a second dog, a good first step could be to foster a dog from a shelter or rescue. This allows you to help a dog in need without making a lifelong commitment. If the foster dog helps alleviate your first dog’s separation anxiety, then a second dog might be a viable solution. Alternatively, you could try having your dog stay alone with a friend’s dog in your home while monitoring their behavior.
However, it’s important to remember that just because your dog is comfortable being alone with a friend’s dog or a foster dog, it doesn’t guarantee they’ll be comfortable with any dog. They might get along well with certain dogs, but still exhibit anxiety when left alone with a different dog.
While getting a second dog might seem like a logical solution to your dog’s separation anxiety, it’s not always the most effective approach. It’s important to carefully consider all factors and consult with a professional before making a decision.