Do you have a dog fever? Are you considering adopting a third dog but worry that it can be a handful? Sometimes, it feels like nothing can stop you from welcoming a new pup in the house. Once you’ve fallen in love with one, it will be hard to let that feeling go. So here are the sure signs that you are ready for a third doggo, along with some tips on how to welcome yet another new puppy into the family.
1. Your furkids are no longer puppies
You have two awesome and loyal dogs who have been following you around for the last seven or eight years. They're pretty well-behaved because you've trained them properly. However, you can't help but miss the times when they misbehaved as you were still teaching them to be a good dog.
Now, your furkids are more inclined to sleep and rest than do something crazy because they know better than to get scolded. Although they still perk you up, you can't help but wonder what life would be like to have Dog No. 3 in your pack. That yearning may be a sign you're ready for a third dog.
2. You love the chaos of being a dog owner
Sure, taking care of dogs is tough because you have to make many adjustments in your life. You have to fit them in your schedule because, as creatures of habits, they need the routine and order.
At the same time, however, you can never be prepared for the spontaneity of having dogs for pets. They will always surprise you in many ways and make your life chaotic. But because you love them, you'll embrace this chaos and a third dog will bring more fun and happiness in your life.
If you are a committed pet owner, you won't see having three dogs as chaos. You'll see this as an enrichment of your life even if you know it will take some time to train the new pup to walk in sync with Dog No. 1 and Dog No. 2 during your daily exercises.
3. You have the extra space and the resources
If you literally have more room for a third dog in your house and you also have the resources to feed and care for another helpless soul, then, by all means, make the life of an adopted rescue better. A lot of shelter dogs deserve to be in homes and families that can take care of them. So, make good use of that extra space in your house and the extra room in your heart for a new furkid.
If you get a third dog, you will essentially be helping one more animal experience a wonderful life. Instead of being stressed and cooped in a shelter, this pup will be able to enjoy being a real dog in your home and with your family.
4. You and your older dogs will never be lonely
With three dogs in your house, how can you ever be lonely? If your two dogs are busy playing with each other, you're likely going to have a third one cuddling with you on the couch. You'll pretty much have a dog detail all the time, like your very own Secret Service!
Your two older dogs have had each other for company for a while but a third one won't be a crowd in this case. If you have to leave your house for a couple of hours, they will always find ways to amuse themselves together.
Some people worry that a third dog will ignite aggression and conflict in the household as the dynamic changes. However, if you introduce Dog No. 3 properly to your pack then there shouldn't be any problems.
5. You understand your dogs' different personalities
By now, you're pretty aware of your dogs' personality and energies. You're sure that a third one will be able to mesh with their temperaments. You're excited, more than apprehensive, of the prospect of building a stronger bond with your pack with the addition of the third dog.
How to Introduce a Third Dog to Your Old Dogs
It's understandable to worry about introducing a new dog in your household. But according to Stanley Coren, PhD of Psychology Today, 46 percent of conflicts and fights are due to the actions of the owner. So, as much as possible, avoid being too eager and excited about bringing the new guy in to meet his new pack. For the meantime, put away any triggers as well, such as food and toys, and allow your dogs some time to sniff and get to know each other.
The introduction must be done one dog at a time to avoid a potential gang up. If possible, do the introductions in a neutral territory, such as the yard of the next-door neighbor, so that your older dogs won't feel territorial and regard the third puppy as the intruder.
If they are calm and happy with each other then carefully lead your pack back to your house. Be on the lookout for the dog's body language and be ready to interrupt or distract the dog if it starts to show aggression like baring his teeth, growling and lowering his tail.
Understand that from an older dog's point-of-view a new puppy can be a handful and pain in the neck. They will try to playfully attack and gnaw at an unsuspecting senior dog who is taking a nap. As much as possible, never leave the pup alone with his big brothers within the first few weeks.
Also, don’t forget to show the older dogs the same love and attention even if there’s a new member of the family. Dogs can be possessive so make sure to never neglect the oldies while you’re also trying to make the new one adjust.
If you're still not sure about adopting a third dog, consult an animal behaviorist or your dog's vet for more insights and advice. You'll be a better pet owner if you keep yourself informed before you make the decision.