By Jacqui Dziak
If you have a pet, you have probably at some point considered adding a companion for your pet and wondered if it is a good decision. The short answer: it depends. Like us humans, most pets do well with a partner. Also similar to humans, some prefer to remain single. Here are a few things to consider.
Multiple, compatible pets play together and may stave off boredom that can lead to behavioral problems. They become buddies, and often snuggle together and sometimes eat together. Having a companion for your pet may also alleviate some of the anxiety your pet feels when you leave the house and ease your conscience when you leave your pet alone for a few hours.
Pet friendships are a wonderful thing to witness. It is a sweet, pure love. Pets love each other as unconditionally as they love us. It is fun to watch pups frolic together in the yard, or witness your bunnies groom each other with affection. Young cats often roughhouse and engage in more active play. They love to stalk, chase, sneak and pounce, which is more entertaining to watch than the latest release on Netflix. Kittens love a playmate so much that Pasadena Humane encourages kitten adoption in pairs- and even offers a discounted adoption fee for the second kitten!
There are other things to factor when deciding on adding another pet to your family. Two pets cost twice as much in food and vet bills. If you are not adopting an already bonded pair, make sure the pets are compatible. Not all pets bond instantly. It is not always love at first sight. Some coupling takes time and patience.
Consider the size of your home. If you are considering bonding rabbits, two do not take up more room than one rabbit. However, two cats will require at least two litter boxes. If you are considering adding another pup, depending on size, two can take up substantially more room. Also keep in mind that walking two dogs is sometimes more challenging than walking one. Training two dogs to walk well together takes patience. Nothing is more frustrating than walking two dogs sniffing in different directions and constantly having to untangle leashes.
Another thing to keep in mind is that not all couples need to be the same species. There are plenty of dog and cat couples, cat and rabbit couples, and so on. It just depends on the individual pets. There is that “it depends” again.
Many dogs, cats, rabbits and critters also do perfectly fine without a companion. Some even prefer to be the only child in the house. Again, it depends on the individual pet. And it depends on you, the pet parent. What is right for you?
Adding another dog, cat, or critter to your family may be the perfect choice. Two pets can double the joy in your life- as well as each other’s life. One pet may also give you all the love and joy you each need. In addition to pets bonding with each other, pet also bond to their human. If you need help deciding if adding another pet to your home is the right choice for you, Pasadena Humane adoption counselors can happily discuss the pros and cons and help you decide if an additional pet is right for your home. They can also assist in choosing an appropriate pet and provide information on how to introduce the new pet to your resident pet, same or different species. Ultimately there is no right or wrong answer to the coupling question. It simply comes down to what is best for you and your pet.