There’s a lot to consider when you’re thinking about getting a second pet. Here are some of the things you should think about before taking the step. 

Big dog and little kitten

You should only get your pet a companion if you are ready to become a parent again. Do you have the time, money and love to bring an extra animal into your family? If the answer is no, you won’t be doing your existing pet – or yourself – any favours.

If the answer is yes, then here are a few more things to consider before expanding your family.

Does my dog need a companion?

Getting your pet a canine mate can be a good idea if you’re away from home much of the day. But first consider how your dog acts when it meets others: is it friendly, excited and wanting to play? Or does it prefer the company of humans, become aggressive or fearful around other pets? If the former rings true, your dog may well benefit from a mate.

Another thing to ponder is the kind of loneliness your dog experiences. Speak to your local Greencross Vets about whether your dog suffers from separation anxiety. If it does, it’s pining for human interaction and a canine friend won’t fill the void. If not, it’s time to start matchmaking. Speak to your vet or local adoption centre about finding a dog that will complement your existing pet’s temperament, age and breed. 

Do cats need company?

In the right circumstances, two cats can provide one another with exercise and mental stimulation while you’re away. But keep in mind that the older your cat gets, the longer it may take to warm to a newcomer.

For the best chance of a smooth transition, try adopting a desexed animal. Speak to an in-store staff member about adoptions to find a cat of similar temperament, but opposite sex, to your existing pet. Alternatively, selecting a kitten that’s also of the opposite sex can work, so long as it’s desexed. Make sure both cats have their own private space to retreat to, which could include a tunnel or a cuddle sack.

Should birds have company?

Birds are highly social creatures, they’re flock animals after all. If you work long hours, all the human interaction, toys and mental stimulation you can provide may not be enough. It may be worth getting a second bird.

If you’re not sure what the right solution for you and your pet is, speak to your Greencross Vets for some advice.