Yes, there can be too much of a good thing. Logic has it that if one dog is good, then two dogs must be great. And if two dogs are great, then three dogs must be even greater. But that’s not necessarily the case. When a person has too many pets, it can create problems for both the pets and the owner. In some instances, well-meaning pet lovers can turn into actual hoarders.
So how many pets are too many pets? Well, it depends. Are the pets being well taken care of? Ask yourself if the pets are clean and if the home environment is clean. The household is noisier as you add more dogs to the mix. Is the home too overcrowded? As the owner, are you able to provide for the daily needs of the pets without feeling overwhelmed? Ask yourself, if there were an emergency, would you be financially able to care for your pets? Answering these questions will give you an indication of whether the situation is manageable or if you simply have too many pets.
We Love Pups, But How Many Dogs Is Too Many Dogs?
Do you have too many dogs? While it might seem that having a lot of dogs could be fun, there are also downsides to consider. Having too many dogs can have detrimental effects on both the dogs and their owners.
As the number of dogs in your home increases, so does the possibility of sickness and bugs. When you have too many dogs in the house, it is harder to keep the environment clean. And more dogs require more money for food and veterinary care.
Ask yourself if there is enough available space in your home to allow the dogs to sleep, run and play. If you have a large home with a large fenced yard, you have more available space than you would in an apartment. Also, you must be aware of the local ordinances in your area. In some locations, the city, county or state has strict laws about the number of animals you are allowed to have in a single home.
As the number of dogs in a household increases, so does the incidence of behavioral problems. The larger the pack, the more complicated the social dynamics and the more diluted the owner’s attention.
The number of dogs you can humanely care for depends on your availability, energy, and resources. For most of us, having one or two dogs is a full-time job, but some people may be able to balance caring for as many as four to six dogs. In each individual situation, there could be a different answer to the question, how many dogs are too many dogs?
To learn more, read our article, We Love Pups, But How Many Dogs Is Too Many Dogs?
Have Multiple Cats? Here’s What You Should Know
Before opening your home to multiple cats, remember that you should never have more cats than you have the time and money to properly care for. Avoid overcrowding in the home and make sure that there is sufficient space for all cats to escape or get away when necessary.
Having too many cats can have negative effects on the home, on the cats and on you. As you increase the number of cats in the household, you increase the odds of uncleanliness and messes in the home. Also, you increase the chance of disease.
As the number of cats in your home increases, so do the number of litter boxes. You should have one litter box per cat plus one extra. And remember, as the number of litter boxes increases, so does the odor.
If you have multiple cats, overcrowding can create stress for your cats. So you should think carefully before getting another cat or you may find your formerly well-behaved cats developing behavior problems.
If you want to avoid infighting and territorial marking, you should have all of your cats spayed and neutered – and the earlier, the better. This will reduce the urge to defend territorial boundaries and eliminate the need to compete for mates. It can also decrease the chances that your cats will spray urine to mark their territory.
To learn more, read our article, Have Multiple Cats? Here’s What You Should Know.
Tips to Make Owning Multiple Dogs Easier for You
The key to living in harmony with multiple dogs is to understand the dogs’ needs and motivations, and to understand the group dynamic. If dogs are left to their own devices to establish their own rules, the playing field will not be level for all dogs. Sharing and fair play are not something that dogs naturally do. Instead, they will be vying for the same resources – food, space, toys and human companionship. With that in mind, here are some helpful tips to make owning multiple dogs easier for everyone.
Be a calm, confident leader – Take control of the resources that could trigger unwanted behaviors in your dogs. Always reward your dog for being patient and polite.
Provide mental and physical stimulation – Make sure that you provide sufficient mental and physical stimulation for your dogs. Make sure that your dogs get enough exercise each day; otherwise, that pent-up energy can lead to trouble.
Control feeding time – Dogs will always be competitive. Dogs shouldn’t have to feel the need to defend their food, but many fights center around food and water. Feed the dogs separately and always supervise the dogs while they eat.
Monitor playtime – Wrestling, play biting and tugging on toys are normal ways for dogs to play. Just don’t let it get out of hand.
Control the space in your home – Dogs are known to be territorial animals and as such, they often try to defend their territory by growling or showing their teeth. You must put a quick stop to this behavior before it turns into a fight.
To learn more, read our article, Tips to Make Owning Multiple Dogs Easier for You.
To learn more about owning multiple dogs, read our article on How Many Dogs Are Too Many?
10 Multiple Cat Household Tips for Health and Wellness
If you own more than one cat, there are ways to help make them live together more peacefully. You could benefit from these multiple cat household tips.
Multiple cat introductions – If you just try to put the cats together and let them work it out you are setting them up for failure. Set up an isolation room to keep the new cat separated at first.
Give each cat its space – It is important to give your cats hiding spots throughout the house where they can feel safe to nap or relax. Cats love cat trees, cardboard boxes and scratching surfaces.
Provide an escape – Make sure that each cat has a private spot to retreat to when he feels overwhelmed, or when he needs his privacy.
Dealing with litter boxes – Your cats will probably not want to use the same litter box. So if you have multiple cats, it’s important that you have one litter box for each cat plus one extra litter box. Locate the litter boxes in different areas of the home and make sure each area offers some quiet and privacy.
Provide plenty of toys – Each of your cats should have plenty of toys to keep them entertained. To help keep your cat’s interest, try rotating toys.
Have multiple food and water bowls – For cats, food is equated with survival, so they instinctively guard and protect the food. If you have multiple cats, you need to have multiple food and water bowls and place them in different areas of the house.
Give your cat plenty of exercise – When cats don’t get enough exercise they can become overweight. It can also cause pent-up energy that is directed toward other cats in the home.
Keep the peace – Not all multiple cat households are peaceful. Squabbles and skirmishes can develop, and when they do, you will need to separate the cats.
Try synthetic pheromones to help reduce stress – A pheromone product like Feliway simulates the facial pheromone that cats naturally produce. It can be an effective way to reduce stress and stop aggression.
Rule out medical problems – If you suddenly notice aggression between your cats, medical issues could be the cause. When a cat is experiencing pain or illness they can become irritable, which may make your cat aggressively lash out at another cat. If you think a medical issue could be the cause of your problems, have the cat seen by your veterinarian.
If you follow these multiple cat household tips, you’ll be better able to enjoy the time you have with your cats. Having multiple cats will require more effort on your part, but the cats can also provide a lot of fun.
To learn more, read our article, 10 Multiple Cat Household Tips for Health and Wellness.