Dog Ownership

Pros and Cons of Getting a 3rd Dog


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We have FOUR dogs. It’s obvious we know all about getting a 3rd dog… and well, a 4th one. Let’s stick with the pros and cons of getting a 3rd dog for now.

Pros and Cons of Getting a 3rd Dog

If you’re considering being a happy owner of 3 dogs, I’ll tell you now that it’s not as bad as you may imagine.

The first thing people say to us when they hear we have 4 dogs (the same thing happened when we had 3 dogs) is “WHOA…that’s like a full-time job.”

It’s really not like that, but it’s all not all great all the time. There are definitely pros and cons of getting a 3rd dog.

Let’s tackle the cons of getting a 3rd dog because well, it’s good to end positively with these sorts of topics.

cons of getting a 3rd dog

The Cons of Getting a 3rd Dog

Multiple dogs mean multiple responsibilities. That’s even true with 2 dogs, as you already know since you’re considering a 3rd dog. The responsibilities to think long and hard on include:

Vet Visits

Having another dog means more vet visits, and that of course results in more money. Many households with multiple dogs have dog insurance to cut down on the costs of vet bills if there’s an accident or major illness.


Unless you’re taking all of your dogs with you when traveling, you’re going to have to board your dog at a kennel while you’re away. There’s nothing wrong with having a kennel take care of your dog, but like the addition of vet visits, it can be costly.

Dog Park

If you take your 2 dogs to the dog park now, you’ll have to take your new dog, too. If you can manage three dogs in your car to go to the dog park, this isn’t much of a con. If you can’t, you may want to come up with a plan on how you’ll continue that for all your dogs.

Daily Walk

We take our dogs out for a walk either two at a time or when we’re brave all at the same time. It depends on how much time and the energy levels of the day. This is definitely something to think about if you currently two your two dogs out for a daily walk at the same time. Will you go out twice or take all three at one time?

Dog Training

Getting a new dog means having to train another dog. Dog training isn’t cheap but it’s a good idea especially when you already have your hands full with 2 dogs.

Keep in mind that when you get the 3rd dog, he/she may not learn as quickly as the second dog. Having two other dogs to learn from, it can get mighty confusing for your new dog.

Potty Breaks

A new pup will need to go outside much more often than your current dogs. While larger dogs can hold their urine and poop for longer, puppies still have to go outside every half hour to an hour unless you’re doing indoor potty training.

Limited Free Time

You likely have two older dogs begging for your attention now, which may not seem like much. But as many dog owners know, a new pup will want as much attention as is available and that could start to creep into your free time.

You may want to look for a pet sitter if you’re worried a lot about your time being taken up by a new pup, especially during the adjustment period.

Change in Daily Routine

Right now, your current dogs know the daily routine. When you add another dog to the mix, the daily routine will change. That could cause stress on your older dogs and you since change is usually stressful. This isn’t too bad if you’re able to be flexible. Just be aware of it.

dog aggression - cons of getting a 3rd dog

Dog Aggression

Be aware that during the adjustment period, there may be some dog aggression. Watch your dogs closely during this time, and if it doesn’t become less frequent, training classes may be in order to help acclimate your new group of canines.

If you decide to get another dog, gender matters when it comes to dog aggression. Dogs are pack animals, so they have an alpha and followers. If you add a male dog to the family, there may be some power struggles before the chain of authority is established. This is especially true when there are same-sex dogs meeting or there are mixed breed dogs that have different energy levels and personalities.

More Barking

If you don’t like barking, it may be a bad idea to get another dog. If you’ve learned how to tone it out, then you’re right on the path to owning as many dogs as you want.

Feeding Time and Price

You’ll spend much more time feeding your dogs if you feed your current dogs at different times. Inside of putting food bowls down two times, it may be three times. If you feed your dogs at the same time, this won’t be much of an issue for you.

The real con of getting a 3rd dog is the cost of dog food. Many dog owners decide to switch to fresh raw dog food when they have many dogs because they can purchase fresh and raw ingredients at the grocery store to make dog food in bulk.

To get all of the nutrition your dogs need, consider trying Only Natural Pet. They sell dehydrated veggies and grains to add to raw meat, which can really cut down on price and time.

That concludes the biggest cons of getting a 3rd dog. Most of them have to do with two things: cost and time. If you have the money and time to devote to a new pup, it’s probably the right time to add another furry friend to your home.

Before you move on to choosing your new puppy, let’s cover the pros of getting a 3rd dog.


The Pros of Getting a 3rd Dog

The pros of getting a 3rd dog are subjective and the ones below are not the only ones. We know that many of our dog lovers that visit the site could come up with so many more! These will get you started, though.

More Love

Dog lovers know that dogs equate to love. There’s nothing better than having a dog love on you when you’re relaxing or having a dog by your side at the desk while you work.

The love people receive from pets has been shown in studies to decrease the chances of many health issues. So, not only are dogs good for your mental health, they are good for your physical health, too.

Fun for All

You know how much fun your furry friends have now. When you add a new puppy, it won’t be long until your current dogs see him/her as a best friend.

pros of getting a 3rd dog

Help with Separation Anxiety

Dogs turn to each other in times of stress. This can be a good thing for your existing furry friends if you add another one to the mix. With more friends around while you’re out, there’s less of a chance your pups suffering from separation anxiety.

Leaving the home isn’t the only thing that’s stressful for your dogs. If you ever have a new home or baby, your three dogs can lean on each other to recover from the change in their world.

All Dogs Go Out at Once

Many people think when you have so many dogs that you’ll have to get up and down all the time to let them out. That’s not how it usually works, especially if you have a fenced-in backyard. For us, we just let them all out at the same time. Sometimes, one of them will ask to go outside during an off time and we usually just open it to let him/her out and back in again, but it’s not all the time.

Giving a Dog a Good Home

There are so many dogs out there that need good homes. By getting your young or older dog from a shelter, you will be doing the world and that very special pup a favor.

That’s not to say that getting your little guy or girl from a reputable breeder isn’t helping because those young dogs need good homes, too. It’s just that shelters are full because so many people prefer a dog from a breeder.

If you do consider introducing a male dog or female dog to your current pets, consider adopting from a shelter vs. a breeder.

Never a Dull Moment

When you have a lot of dogs, you’ll never have a dull moment. They all have their own little personalities and energy levels. It’s like living with more family members, except they are the ones you like!

How to Make the Final Decision

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not you should get another dog, you may want to consider a foster dog. When you foster a dog, you take care of a new pup temporarily until a forever home can be found.

Some foster dog parents will adopt their dog because they get along well with their current pets and fall in love with him/her.

Fostering a dog is a great way to test the waters on what it would be like to add another furry friend to your home.

If you’re convinced that it is the right time to add a female dog or a male dog to your furry gang, congratulations! We hope that reviewing the pros and cons of getting a 3rd dog helped you with your final decision.

We wish you good luck and always remember to come back to for help with all of your furry friends.

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