Dog Ownership

How Many Dogs Is Too Many?



You’re either thinking of getting another dog or you know someone who just got another dog, so you want to know how many dogs is too many. Just so you know, that number depends on several factors and personal opinions. With that being said, let’s dive into the important factors that go into what determines how many dogs is too many.

How Many Dogs Is Too Many?

The number of fur babies you should own is subjective. Some households are perfectly fine with 4 or 5 while other households can’t handle two.

Factors Influencing How Many Dogs to Own

If you’re not sure what your household can handle, consider the following important factors.

Younger Dogs vs. Older Dogs

Puppies can be much harder to care for than adult dogs. They need dog training, which takes much more time than an adult dog that already knows what to do and what not to do inside the home.

Senior dogs need more care as well. The more care a pet needs, the less likely a pet should be added to the household.

Rescued Dogs or Breeder Dogs

Adopting a dog from a shelter vs. a breeder should be considered when creating a multiple dog household. Adopting from a shelter or rescue group means the dog may come to the home with behavior problems that need to be corrected with or without a professional dog trainer. Breeders usually start training as soon as possible, so puppies go to their new homes somewhat trained.

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Again, it’s the level of care that needs to be considered when trying to figure out how many dogs is too many. is 4 too many dogs

Budget for Vet Visits and Veterinary Medicine

Vet bills are costly. The more pets you have, the more money you’ll give to veterinary professionals. A sign someone has too many dogs is when he/she can’t afford to care for their health. While there is dog insurance that can help with the costs of veterinary medicine and appointments for health issues, the more pets you have the more you have to pay to carry that insurance.

Yard Space

Yard space is another important factor for deciding how many dogs is too many. Large dogs especially need enough room outdoors to exercise. Multiple dog households need a good size yard for roaming, playing, and running. People who live in rural areas are usually more likely to have multiple animals because they have more outdoor space vs. someone living in a suburb or metropolitan area.


How much attention can you provide to multiple animals? Dog ownership comes with many responsibilities and one of them is providing care and comfort to individual dogs. Some pet owners have a lot of time for their multiple animals, while others simply do not have the time to provide the best care to them.

Current Dog

Consider what is in the best interest of your current dog(s) and newest pet. It’s not fair to the current dog or newest pet if you favor one or the other. Unless you’re able to equally treat your current dogs and new dogs the same, it’s not a good idea to add another animal to your household.

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If your job requires you to move a lot, it may not be a good idea to add more pets to your household. New homes can be highly stressful for dog owners. Small dogs are easier to move than large dogs, but it can still be difficult. Take it from someone whose husband is in the military, has moved several times, and has four fur babies like a crazy dog lady. Read more about me in Is 4 Dogs Too Many?

Moving to new homes is stressful for everyone involved, including the canines. It’s best to keep the number of animals down if you’re a household that moves around a lot.

Work Situation

People who work from home or part-time can usually take care of more dogs because they can use their breaks to let their dogs out, feed them, etc. This is especially true of people who have a flexible work schedule other than a 9-5. 

Number of Children

Families with a lot of children may be able to handle more dogs or may not be handle them, depending on how much help the children are in caring for the dogs. 

Expert Weighs In On How Many Dogs Is Too Many

Karen Nash, an animal rescuer says that 2 or 3 dogs are usually good for a house, but any more than that could start to become a problem.

is 4 dogs too many

So, How Many Dogs Is Too Many?

The best way to determine how many dogs are too many is to consider the above factors. Some people will say that you shouldn’t have more pets than people in your household. If you have four people in your house, you should have four pets. Others say that you should have as many pets as you can care for well.

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New dogs are a lot of work and take extra time than current dogs. People who believe pets don’t take a lot of time to care for and train can often slip into neglecting their animals, which constitutes animal cruelty.

It may be a good idea to foster a dog before you decide. This way you can help a dog who needs a home and you can get a sense of what it would be like if you adopted one or purchased one from a breeder. This would be the best way to test out the waters of adding to your multiple dog household.

Related Post: Best Gender Combination for 3 Dogs

Wondering if your current dogs are happy? Read this article: Is My Dog Happy?


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6 thoughts on “How Many Dogs Is Too Many?”

  1. Yikes!
    You’ve hit a lot of factors, but it kind of does come down to the first principle of preference. I think having a houseful of dogs would drive me nuts. At the same time, we own five cats, but they kind of take care of themselves, unlike a dog.

    Blessings in the new year!
    Ridge Haven Homestead

    • Hi Laurie! I never thought I would have four dogs, but here I am living with four dogs. I have to say that it’s not as hard as you may imagine. They usually all go out together, come in together, and I feed them all at the same time. Walking all of them at once can be a challenge, but sometimes, I just take two at a time. We used to have a cat, so I do know how independent they can be!

  2. With the Akita, only one dog at a time! That personality demands a solo-dog family. Thank you for the tips.

    • Hi Amy! Akitas are soooooo cute!!!! And yes, some breeds simply want their family to themselves. 🤣


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