What's better: one pet or two?

Author picture Katy

Contemplating getting a pet and unsure whether 2 tails are better than 1? Or perhaps you’ve already got a furry companion and are wondering if he might benefit from a playmate? Are single pets ‘lonely’ or is being the sole object of your affection actually good for them? This article will help you to determine whether to take on one or more pets.


The domestic dog as we know and love him has exactly the same needs as a wolf. Dogs regard other family members as part of their "pack" and can therefore lead a full and satisfying life as an only pet. Nonetheless, many dogs positively delight in sharing their home with a compatible canine companion.

Bear in mind, however, that both dogs will be less owner-oriented and more inclined to focus their attention on each other than on you. Booking a dog sitter for two dogs can also prove more difficult than for one. And, although great fun, walking with several dogs can be a challenge. Consider your current lifestyle: can you comfortably fit 2 large dogs in your car, house or garden for example? And don’t forget to factor in the double costs for food, vet bills, dog sitting etc. that two pampered pooches incur.


Cats are solitary animals, which means that they’re perfectly content living alone. Nevertheless, many cats still benefit from sharing their home with a feline friend. After all, it enables them to indulge in genuine 'cat' behaviour, such as grooming and play. If they get on particularly well, they might even end up sleeping together in the same basket. How cute is that?

Yet, not all cats are equally as happy to welcome a sudden 'intruder' onto their home turf. Exercise caution if your resident cat is somewhat headstrong, especially if she’s an indoor cat. If you’re fortunate enough to benefit from some outside space, then introducing a new cat should prove less problematic as there’s plenty of room for them to avoid each other. An adult cat with a kitten tends to be a good match. If you’re planning on homing two kittens, then it’s advisable to choose two of the same sex.


Rabbits need to live in groups and will quickly become lonely as an only pet. Thus, introducing an additional bunny will greatly improve your rabbit’s quality of life, yet without costing you significant extra time or money. Make sure that you have sufficient space for two rabbits: your bunnies must still have the option of some ‘alone time’ when desired. A male and female rabbit is the ideal combination, but don’t forget to have them neutered to prevent any unwelcome family additions.

Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are group animals by nature and companionship is therefore extremely important to them. In fact, these sociable rodents have even been known to die from grief following the loss of a best friend. So always home two (and preferably more) guinea pigs together to allow plenty of opportunity for interaction. Make sure that they don’t display any aggressive behaviour towards one another - the best combination is one or more females and a neutered male. And placing a young guinea pig with an adult (who will invariably accept the pup) is a guaranteed recipe for success!

A Furry friend for your beloved pet?

If you’re planning to home a pet or already have one, then a little research certainly won’t go amiss: is being an only pet good for your fur baby’s welfare or not? A great way of checking whether your pet would benefit from a play pal is by becoming a pet sitter at Pawshake. As a host family, you can offer lots of lovely animals in your local area a temporary home. However, you should always ensure a safe and responsible introduction to your resident pet.

Read more about introducing 2 dogs

Read more about introducing a cat and a dog