Benefits of Owning Multiple Pets

Dr. Ragen T.S. McGowan, PhD
By Dr. Ragen T.S. McGowan, PhD
Updated: 5/9/20242-4 minutes
Benefits of multiple pets

Many people who’ve discovered the joy of pet ownership find themselves thinking about having more than one dog or cat. After all, owning multiple pets must have some advantages, right? 

Adopting more than one pet requires some extra work, but you’ll reap many times the rewards from owning multiple dogs or cats. If you have a pet who enjoys the company of another, this may be an excellent option for all involved. Your pets can benefit from each other, and their human companions will benefit from the bond they create together as well.  

Benefits of Having More Than One Dog or Cat

Pets Keep Each Other From Becoming Bored or Lonely

There are obvious benefits to owning multiple pets at the same time. Your pets will have the opportunity to socialize and play together, which means they won’t get bored if you’re working, sleeping or out of the house for a few hours. They’ll never have to be alone except when they want to be.  

Two pets also mean more companionship for the people in your family. Each pet has its own personality. You and your family will enjoy getting to know each one as an individual. Dogs and cats can become attached to more than just one owner. When there is more than one pet in the home, they may each get attached to different people in the family.  

Pets Help Each Other Get More Exercise

In addition to boosting their mental health, having a fellow animal companion can also improve your pets’ physical health. As dogs and cats grow older, lack of exercise can lead to various medical problems. 

Pets often play with each other throughout the house. This activity can give them a lot more exercise than they’d get alone.  

When owners play with multiple dogs out in the backyard, they tumble and romp through the grass, expending more energy than they would with any game of fetch individually with a human. Cats do much the same when they express their hunting instincts through playtime with each other at home.  

Benefits of Owning Multiple Dogs or Cats for People

Pets Provide Mental Health Benefits for Their Owners

Any pet owner can tell you that feeling they get when their dog or cat runs up to greet them or cuddles up with them during a quiet moment. For many, it’s a feeling that life’s stressors are melting away or at least being put on hold.  

It’s more than just a feeling, though. The stress-reducing effects of owning a cat or dog are well documented. Did you know interacting with a dog can decrease the stress-causing hormone known as cortisol and increase oxytocin levels (the love hormone) in both people and their dogs? 

Pets and the companionship they offer can help people overcome feelings of loneliness and help them cope with anything from grief to depression and even PTSD, as is the case with service animals.  

But there are other advantages to owning pets that might be less obvious. For example, did you know pet ownership can help you become more social? If you’re out and about with dogs or cats, people are naturally inclined to interact with them and, by extension, you. This makes cats and dogs a great ice-breaker. 

Pets Provide Physical Health Benefits for Their Owners

Pet ownership also offers some surprising physical health benefits, which can compound when you have multiple pets. According to studies, having a pet can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels.  

Dogs need plenty of daily exercise, either through walks or with games of fetch or tug. In the process, you’re also getting a workout. The same goes for playing and interacting with your cats. 

Perhaps even more surprising are the effects petting your dog or cat have on cardiovascular health. Studies show talking to and petting a dog can help to lower blood pressure and heart rates leading to a reduction in cardiovascular mortality.  

Your immune system can also benefit from having pets, as exposure to dogs and cats can reduce allergen sensitization and influence immune function.  

Providing a Lifelong Emotional Bond

The benefits of having two dogs or two cats are many. Pet friendships are a wonderful thing to witness—it’s beautiful, pure and strong, and can bring a lot of joy into the home. There’s nothing better than seeing your pets cuddle together, play with one another, groom each other and love each other as unconditionally as they love us.  

Of course, introducing more pets to your household or adopting more than one at a time requires you to take the proper steps to ensure they get along. Knowing the right way to introduce cats or dogs to each other can help circumvent some of the potential stressors. 

Adding another dog or cat to your family may be the perfect choice. Two pets can double the joy in your life—as well as each other’s. 

For more pet care tips from our experts, visit our Pet Expertise page.  

Related articles

Lifeguard dog
There is a lot we all can learn about our dogs. For example, that Newfoundland's were bred to be lifeguards! Read about this and more interesting facts about dogs.
A dog and a kid
A dog with a gift
Person hugging dog

Your Best Furry Friend is Waiting

Browse loveable, adoptable pets in your area and add a furry friend to our family with Petfinder.