What's The Perfect Second Pet?

By Katie Garrity

So you have your pet, and you're totally set. You're content. You're happy. Your pet is comfy and house-trained, and all's right with the world. That's when it happens. The itch is back. The need for a new furry friend weasels its way into your heart, and you find yourself on petfinder websites or casually showing up to the pet store on an adoption event day. You want another pet! But what's the perfect second pet for you? Read on to find out!

Golden Retriever and British Shorthair
credit: chendongshan/iStock/GettyImages

If you’re a dog owner…

If you're thinking about getting another dog pal for your main pooch, there are definitely some things to consider. Such as your dog's personality. Mainly, because each and every dog has a different personality. There are also certain breeds that work better with dogs than others. There are no absolutes because every dog has his own personality; however, some dog breeds tend to be more amenable to cross-species coexistence, such as:

  • Golden retriever

  • Briard

  • Cavalier King Charles spaniel

  • Labrador retriever

  • Black and tan coonhound

  • Havanese

  • Norfolk terrier

It's recommended that you have two dogs of opposite genders and similar ages. There are so many pros to giving your primary pooch a furry pal. They'll be kept company if you're gone for a long day. They'll wear each other out so you don't have to give them a third walk of the day. They may end up being the best of friends! So it's definitely something to consider!

couple of kissing chihuahua puppies
credit: nickpo/iStock/GettyImages

Now, there are other options when it comes to a friend for your pup — like (believe it or not!) a cat! Vet Street writes, "The stereotype of cats and dogs is that when they get together, they fight like — well, cats and dogs. But this isn't necessarily the case; felines and canines can live harmoniously under one roof. It's important to choose a cat and a dog who will get along, though."

Of course! You want to make sure that your feline friend will mesh with your adorable pup! While many may say it's not the best option for a companion for your dog, it's not an impossible feat!

If you’re a cat owner…

If your first pet was a cute little kitty, you need to evaluate what the personality of your cat is. Much like dog owners need to do! Is your cat easygoing? Mellow? Or does it get stressed out in certain situations? These will be key indicators if your cat can handle another dog in its life. Another key factor is age. If you're loving on a senior cat, a new puppy — full of energy and life — may not be the best mix. Puppies and older cats can be a challenge. Exuberant puppies can sometimes be a handful, even for us humans. Adult or older cats often find a young pup's antics annoying and stressful.

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Now adding another cat to your pack is a different kind of beast (pun very much intended).

"The majority of cats are hostile to other unrelated felines, and there is certainly no guarantee that your cat will thank you for its new playmate. However, some cats, if they have been sufficiently socialized to other cats or are particularly sociable (genetically), do benefit enormously from feline company. Therefore, the decision has to be made on a case-by-case basis," states the Veterinary Centers of America.

So basically, we're still singing the same song as before. It's up to you and the personality of your cat. If your cat is chill and friendly, you may be just fine with another kitten in the mix, but still be aware of your animals and their actions to make sure everyone is vibing appropriately.

Cats and dogs are notoriously known for not getting along, but it actually is possible! You know your pet best, and you can make the call on whether or not your dog needs cat friend, a dog sibling, or maybe just a solo life as an only child.