The plan was to adopt one dog. We researched breeds for months until we decided that a herding breed (Border Collie, Cattle Dog, or Australian Shepherd) was the right breed for us. And then we started jumping through the hoops of a dog rescue and that’s how we met Rodrigo. Three days later, I started my campaign for a second dog.
- Rodrigo will be so confused and afraid; adopting one of his siblings will make him happy.
- Two puppies can keep each other company when we’re away from the house.
- We wanted two dogs anyway, why not right now?
Yeah, why not? I love our puppies (now dogs) and wouldn’t trade a moment with them, except maybe that day Sydney rolled over the dead seal, but adopting two puppies at one time was tough. But thanks to all the reading we did and a talented dog trainer, we made it through the puppy years.
2 years later, Blue joined our family to make us a true multi dog home.
Living in a multi dog home rocks, but there are things that dog owners need to be prepared for if they’re considering increasing the paw count…
Dog Training – I’m so thankful that Rodrigo and Sydney are well trained, because although they taught Blue a couple of bad habits, Blue was able follow their lead. He waits patiently for food, he has a fantastic recall, and he goes “night night” with no problems.
Dog Behavior – Before we added a third dog to our family, we needed to make sure the resident littermates would be accepting of a third set of paws. We fostered a dog for a week and Rodrigo and Sydney loved him. Their love of their new sister Riley (she passed of parvo) convinced us that we could make room for a third dog.
Snuggling time can be a trial as we juggle three dogs, but they’ve learned to wait their turn; most days.
Dog Health – When one of the dogs is sick, the others act strange too, which can be helpful. When Sydney had a rash on her vajayjay, Blue couldn’t stop checking it out and we knew it was getting better as he stopped showing interest (plus the rash was clearing up). A more challenging issue is when someone has an upset tummy. Figuring out which dog has the runs isn’t easy, so we take them for a walk; eventually one of them will show us the answer.
Dog Nutrition – Feeding them is easy. Our dogs love eating together, but they still need a little space to enjoy their meal. When we began to suspect that Rodrigo is allergic to chicken, we switched our dogs to Halo Pets, which was an easy change. When we accepted that Sydney could lose some weight, it was a little more challenging to put one dog out of three on a diet. Careful food time monitoring and a switch from cookies to carrots did the trick.
Dog Safety – Our dogs love to be off leash and we take them to large fields (no cars) to allow them to run and play; this has been amazing for energetic, mixed breed herding dogs. What hasn’t been great are the dog parks, which we no longer visit. It became impossible for us to keep an eye on three dogs. Sydney is shy and doesn’t like her butt sniffed. Blue only wants to play with the small dogs. And Rodrigo is protective of Sydney and Blue, leading to confrontations. It didn’t take long for us to realize that dog parks were safe for our brood.
Dog Care – Having three dogs is expensive. They go through everything faster. But there are plenty of ways to save money. We buy premium dog food, because we know that a better diet today leads to fewer vet visits tomorrow. Pet insurance is a must have investment for us, because we were caught off guard once by a high vet bill and don’t want to experience that again. To save money, we cook their soft food, we clip coupons, and being a pet blogger helps too.
Bath time is a well oiled machine and we sweep the hardwoods every other day and vacuum twice a week. Picking up the dogs’ yard is also a twice a week chore.
Living in a multi dog home is a laugh riot. Our dogs are characters and I love every minute we have with them and I adore how they interact with each other. I wouldn’t change our life for anything.
About the Author: Kimberly Gauthier is the Editor in Chief of Keep the Tail Wagging and offers dog care tips to dog owners. She also distributes the weekly newsletter, Blogging in My Pajamas. When she’s not gabbing about dogs and blogging, she is hanging out with three dogs, her dog co-parent, and planning to take over the world.