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.
Downsides to Having Too Many Dogs
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. The household is noisier as you add more dogs to the mix. And more dogs require more money for food and veterinary care.
Do you have the time and money to devote to all of your dogs, or do you simply have too many dogs?
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.
While it may be tempting to take in another adorable dog, it is important to understand how many dogs are too many dogs. You must have the time, money and resources to care for these animals. Your dogs deserve humane treatment, so it is important that you have the ability to properly care for them. Also, with multiple dogs in the home it is important to make sure that all of your dogs are spayed or neutered.
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.
Having Too Many Dogs vs. Hoarding
So where do we draw the line between “hoarding” and simply having more dogs than normal? In most hoarding cases, the dogs are not being cared for in a humane way. The home may be stinky and dirty and the dogs may be receiving less than adequate care.
Do you have too many dogs in your house? Unless you are a breeder, having more than six to eight dogs usually seems excessive. The more dogs you have, the less individual attention each dog receives. The relationship of human and dog changes, becoming less personal. With too many dogs, the dogs themselves become less pet-like and more pack-like.
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?
How to Find New Homes for Your Dogs
If you have found that you have too many dogs, it may be time to think about rehoming. If you want to find a new home for your dog or dogs, it’s important that you get the word out to as many people as possible. Here are some good steps to follow.
- Create a flyer with the pet’s name and a good photo. Describe the appearance, size and age of the dog. Mention if the dog is spayed or neutered. Describe your dog’s nature and endearing qualities. Mention any limitations the dog may have (for instance, “not good with small children”). Finally, make sure that your phone number is on the flyer and list the best times to contact you. Make multiple copies of the flyer and post it throughout your community. Ask if you can post the flyer at veterinary offices, pet supply stores, your workplace or your friends’ and family’s workplace, supermarkets, churches and any place with a community bulletin board.
- Next, contact local shelters and rescue groups.
- Place a classified ad in your local newspaper.
- Go to adoption websites and post your pet.
- Word of mouth – Reach out to all of your community contacts and ask them to pass on the information to friends and family.
- Post to your Facebook page and leverage your social media to spread the word.
By spaying or neutering the dog you want to rehome, you will be making the dog more attractive to the potential owner. Also, have your veterinarian do a complete check-up before placing the dog for adoption. This will make it easier to place the dog.
To make the transition easier, try to prepare a general history of the dog, including his likes and dislikes, food preferences, favorite type of toy, etc.
Screen potential adopters to make sure they will be suitable owners. Find out if they have other pets at home, if they have children and whether they live in a house or an apartment. Find out if they have a fenced yard. It’s also okay to ask how many hours the dog would be left alone during the day. (If you’ve got a dog with separation anxiety, a person that works all day may not be the best option.)
The next step is to meet face-to-face and introduce your dog. If they relate well to each other, this could be a good match.
To learn more about having too many pets, read our article, Understanding When You or Someone Else Has Too Many Pets.
To learn more about rehoming dogs, read our article Why People Are Looking for Rehoming for Dogs.