Challenges of Multiple Pets

Posted by Dr. Jessica Herman on

Challenges of Multiple Pets

When it comes to pets, one is one, but two can feel like twenty. 

While more pets undoubtedly means more love, having more than one pet can bring its fair share of challenges. If you’re thinking about taking the plunge into multiple pet parenthood, here are a few things to be mindful of. 

1. The cost

Let’s address the elephant in the room, shall we? More pets = more expenses. When considering whether or not you’re ready for another fur baby, it’s important that you can comfortably afford it. 

According to the ASPCA, one small dog will cost its owner an average of $1,471 a year, compared to over $2,000 for large dogs and $1,174 for a cat. And this is just for routine care and supplies. If your pet has an accident or requires an emergency procedure or prescription, your tab will inevitably rise. Add an additional dog or cat, and it increases again. 


2. Let’s all just get along

Before introducing a new pet to your home, be mindful of your current furry friend and how they will adapt to a new sibling. Not all pets can be around others - it’s crucial that you don’t force this. The last thing you want is for one of your pets to possibly hurt another, or develop anxiety once a new roommate arrives. 

If your pet was an adult when they came into your life, find out about their upbringing. Take note as to how they respond when around other animals. Does your dog get aggressive with other dogs, but is friendly with cats, or vice versa? This will help you decide if your pet is ready, as well as which pet you could potentially get. 

3. Extreme home takeover

As the saying goes, there’s strength in numbers. In a multi-pet household, it's easy for our fur babies to slowly take over - especially if the pets outnumber the humans. What used to be a few toys and a bed in a corner turns into more toys and beds in the living room and then your bedroom and so on and so forth. 

If this is exactly what you want, no problem! On the other hand, if it stresses you out, establish your boundaries! Determine where your pets are and aren’t allowed, and make sure you have some personal space. 

4. Quality time 

Last, but certainly not least. When considering whether you can or can’t have another pet in your life, your emotional investment is just as important as the financial one. 

That being said, different pets require different amounts of quality time to be happy and healthy. Cats are notoriously more independent than dogs. Fish obviously don’t require as much either. 

Not to mention, if you find yourself gradually going back to the office, be sure to consider how much time you’ll actually be home to spend with a new pet. 

You know how much quality time your current fur baby needs, are you able to do that for another? 

We don’t mean to deter anyone from bringing another pet into their home. After all, we love pets. It’s what we do. But part of being a pet owner is being a responsible pet owner, and it’s not fair to our furry friends if we aren’t.  

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