Ask Our Dog Experts . . . Am I Being Selfish By Not Getting A Second Dog?

By Jennifer Arnold, NY Times Bestselling Author; Founder and Executive Director of Canine Assistants


Am I being a selfish dog-owner by not getting a second dog so Lucy has a playmate?  I often wonder if she’s lonely during the day, when I’m working.  She’s highly spoiled and gets lots of interaction with other dogs on the weekends.  I am really interested in tips, on the best approach to pick my second dog.  Is it best if they are the same sex, etc?  Is it true it’s best for your second dog to be younger than the one who’s been in the house for a while?


There are certainly advantages to having only one dog… as well as being the only dog.  The primary benefits, of course, being the time and attention you have to focus on your one and only.  That said, there are many advantages to having more than one dog as well, including that your dog has a constant playmate.  But, neither is right or wrong.  Most dogs do fine with lots of quiet time when you are away, as long as they receive lots of attention when you are home.

If you and Lucy want another dog to join your family, find one that fits well with your lifestyle and that you are both attracted to from the beginning.  There is statistically less chance that the dogs will fight if you bring in a new dog of the opposite sex, though I know many BDFs (Best Dog Friends) of the same sex.  In addition, it is generally accepted that bringing in a dog younger than your current one is a good idea.  I am a firm believer that individual characteristics and personality will always trump best practices; so you and Lucy should meet as many candidates as possible.  Pay attention to your reaction…you’ll know when the fit is right.


  1. I have a male 1 year/4 months old, I wanted a company for him even when I am always home, but I want him to have some one from his specie… I had a female 4 moths old, they made me happy and they ARE SO HAPPY together, they play, rest, miss and take care of each other….

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