6 Week old puppies
Dabl At Home Dec 2020
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Dabl at Home

What To Consider Before Adopting Two Puppies From The Same Litter

While adopting two puppies from the same litter sounds like a great idea in theory, this adoption decision tends to be one that pet parents regret.

Many people like the idea of adopting two puppies at once. Pet parents like the idea of keeping siblings together and love that their new puppies will always have a playmate and cuddle buddy nearby. Plus, is there ever such a thing as too many adorable puppies? We’re all for the cuteness overload! 

But adopting two puppies at the same time, especially if they are from the same litter, is not necessarily as wonderful as it sounds. In fact, most certified dog trainers strongly advise against adopting two puppies at the same time. This is because dogs form the most meaningful relationships with their humans and are easier to train when their owner’s attention is fully on them. In addition, many people underestimate the chaos that comes with bringing two puppies into the home at once. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever adopt two puppies at the same time if that is your dream, but you should first be aware of the possible risks and consequences. 

Everything is double the cost. 

Adopting a dog is a big financial responsibility! Puppies are generally more expensive than healthy adult dogs because puppies require the most veterinary care during their first year of life. Vet visits, puppy vaccines, and veterinary procedures like spaying and neutering can all add up! Plus, your puppy will need food, toys, bedding, and other pet supplies. The ASPCA estimates that the average total first-year costs for a puppy range from $1,314 to $1,843 depending on the size of the dog. If you adopt two puppies at once, you are doubling your expenses. 

Everything requires twice as much time and effort. 

If the expenses of two puppies don’t already have you seeing double, the time and effort required to train and supervise the puppies certainly will! You can expect things like potty training to take twice as much time and effort. While your puppies obviously should spend some time together, lots of training and socialization will also need to be done separately. The time apart is important for your pups to develop independence from each other, bond with their pet parents, and be properly socialized with other dogs and people. 

In addition, puppies have an extremely short attention span and individual training sessions are important for keeping your pup’s attention and focus for as long as possible. The puppies should also be walked separately to ensure each puppy develops independence and confidence they can draw upon in new or scary environments. If the puppies are not trained and walked separately, the less confident puppy will begin to only rely on the cues of their more confident sibling. 

Siblings from the same litter don’t always live in harmony.

While puppies are newborns, they love to snuggle and play together as they start to explore their new world. Since the puppies get along so well for the first 8 weeks of their lives until they are ready to come home, you’d think they would certainly be best friends for life. However, this is not always the case. As puppies grow up, they can develop severe cases of sibling rivalry that cause fighting. While not true of every sibling pair, the fighting does tend to be worse amongst same-sex siblings and in certain breeds

On the flip side, sibling pairs can become too attached to each other. Littermate syndrome is a term used to describe two siblings puppies adopted together that bond intensely with each other, excluding their human family. When the puppies are separated from each other, they may suffer from severe separation anxiety. On the other hand, one puppy may develop an unhealthy emotional dependence on the other, causing severe anxiety whenever the dependent puppy is separated from the sibling. 

The puppies could bond more with each other instead of with the pet parents. 

One of the main reasons that pet experts advise pet owners to adopt one puppy at a time is to ensure the dog properly bonds with its new owners. Littermates and puppies who are adopted at the same time tend to bond closely with each other instead of with their new pet parents. While puppies can quickly become inseparable from each other, the presence of the other puppy can make it more difficult for the pups to form meaningful relationships with their new owners. Adopting puppies one at a time can eliminate this potential problem. 

The Key Takeaways:

Dogs are pack animals and generally do enjoy having another companion animal in the home. However, it’s usually more affordable and less chaotic to space out dog and puppy adoptions by at least a year. This gives you time to bond with the first pet and finish training before bringing in a second dog. It also mitigates the risk of the puppies bonding with each other instead of with you. 

That said, this doesn’t mean you should never adopt two puppies at once or a sibling pair. It’s just a decision that you should make carefully because it requires a lot of extra effort to help your puppies grow into healthy and well-balanced dogs. But if you are willing to make that extra effort, sibling pairs can thrive with the right people and the right environment. Consider working with a certified dog trainer to create a training plan for your puppies early on and find out how you can prevent common sibling issues from arising before they even begin to become a problem. 

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