Will Adopting Two Puppies Help Separation Anxiety?

It can be tempting to get two puppies instead of one, thinking that the puppies will have each other to keep them company and make the transition easier from living with mom and siblings to living with you. Unfortunately, another dog will not entirely solve this issue as both pups will still long for their human caregiver.

Misconceptions

It is a common misconception that a lonely puppy longs for any companionship. While it is likely that the puppies will enjoy playing together, they will probably still whine and cry when you, their guardian and provider, leaves. This is perfectly normal and something that your puppy will learn to no longer do once he gets used to the fact that you always return when you leave. Don't be surprised if adopting two puppies leaves you with double the amount of crying whenever you step away!

Drawbacks

While your puppies may not keep each other from being anxious when you are gone, they will most likely bond strongly with each other, so much so that you may have trouble taking one somewhere without the other. If you know that you want two dogs in the future, you may wish to wait until your first puppy matures before adding another, or adopt a puppy and an adult dog.

Expert Advice

There is no reason to adopt a puppy for the sole purpose of helping your current pup with separation anxiety. When bringing your new pup home for the first time, if at all possible, do it when you'll have some time off from work (during a holiday break, perhaps) so you can spend a good amount of time with him for a few days while he gets used to his new accommodations. Expect some whining when you leave or at night for the first few days, but your puppy will soon learn that you always return and will wait quietly for you.

Considerations

If you have your heart set on two puppies, or you already have two puppies, you can take some steps to encourage both puppies to bond with you while still enjoying each other's company. Don't worry about your puppies spending enough time together, as they will likely get more than enough time together to bond. The challenge is to occasionally separate them so that they don't become overly dependent on one another. If possible, put their beds or crates in separate rooms, and feed them separately. Take time every day to play with them and train them one at a time.

By Stephanie Dube Dwilson

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References

Veterinary Partner: Two Puppies or One?
Whole Dog Journal: Problems: Problems Associated With Adopting Two Puppies at the Same Time
Humane Society of the United States: Separation Anxiety

About the Author
With features published by media such as Business Week and Fox News, Stephanie Dube Dwilson is an accomplished writer with a law degree and a master's in science and technology journalism. She has written for law firms, public relations and marketing agencies, science and technology websites, and business magazines.