The Decision to Get a Second Puppy


two goldendoodles. Des Moines MomTwo years ago, our first dog died at the age of 12. He was a fantastic dog and we were all devastated when we had to say our goodbyes. I swore I wouldn’t get another dog for at least a year because I wasn’t sure my heart could take it.

Two months later, we got another dog. We went with a puppy from a local breeder. I fell in love with him just like I did with our first and was so happy to have a fur baby to love again. I trained him, took him to classes, and he’s still a fantastic dog for our family!

However, it didn’t take long for my husband and two kids to start negotiating for a second dog. 

“Stan is such a fun dog–having two of him would be even better!”

“We will help with potty training and walking the new puppy and cleaning the poop and all the things!” 

“Stan needs a sister to play with. It will make him so happy!”

I caved, and we got another dog just like Stan. Her name is Maggie and she is currently 5 months old. She’s awesome, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing.

The First Months

While she was super cute, Maggie caused me lots of tears. I was frustrated with her lack of potty training. She peed in the house. She chewed our new furniture, our baseboards, the stairs, my hands. She cried when she was being impatient. 

To add to the stress, my husband and kids weren’t home during the day to help with potty training and keeping an eye on her. Puppies need constant supervision so I wasn’t able to multi-task like I was used to doing when it was just Stan. I was getting behind in my work with no end to puppy stress in sight. 

Five Months Later

Now that Maggie is great about going outside by herself to potty, life has gotten a bit easier. She still needs constant supervision inside, but I can send her outside when I need a break. Plus, I’ve gotten better about making my kids take responsibility for watching her, feeding her, and playing with both dogs. 

I’m starting to see that she’s going to be a great addition to our family. Her puppy antics bring us laughter and joy every day. 

Words of Wisdom

I know every family is different and the decision to have two dogs is a BIG one to make. Here are some tips from one mom to another. 

  • Consider the older dog’s temperament. I told my kids if we get the new puppy home and there’s aggression, the new puppy goes back. 
  • Think about how much energy you, as a mom, have on a daily basis. If you already feel totally overwhelmed, perhaps this isn’t a time for a new puppy. 
  • Consider your finances. Double vet bills (and new puppies go to the vet often!), grooming, food, leashes, etc. 
  • Visit a Facebook group for help with your decision. I am in a “Doodle Moms” Facebook group and everyone said having two of our breed was such a joy. I took that as a really good sign that having two doodles in the house would be okay. 
  • Learn about having two dogs at home. A favorite resource of mine is Pooch Parenting
  • Will a new puppy bring you joy too? When I really thought about it, having a little girl puppy was a really fun idea for me too. I’ve been enjoying shopping for her dresses and snuggling with her during her naps. 

Good luck with your decision to add a second dog to your family! 

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Katie Nyberg
I am married to my high school sweetheart, Wes, and we have two energetic boys who are active in hockey, cross country, choirs, bands, and track. Our family loves to explore Des Moines, travel around the country, and do anything sports related together! I own a birth and postpartum doula agency called The Iowa Baby Ladies that supports families in Central Iowa. We love serving mothers in our area as they grow, birth, and mother their babies with confidence!


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