A multi-pet household can be a delightful experience, assuming everyone gets along. Play, environment enrichment, variety, and friendship are part of the ownership puzzle, and it’s mutually beneficial to all household pets. That said, is it possible to have too many pets?

More the Merrier?

The bottom line is that you can have as many pets as you can reasonably take care of. However, this balance can often get out of hand, causing detriment to the health of the pets and even the human family members.

When to Know

Every pet owner is different, and each household is unique. It can be difficult to place a figure on what constitutes too many pets, but the Pet Experts encourage owners to analyze whether or not they can really deliver the goods to yet another household animal. 

  • Money – It costs money to provide for each and every pet in the home. If providing for the animals you have already stretches you financially, it’s a good idea to hold off on adopting or rescuing more pets.
  • Space/Time – Each animal in your care deserves to have their own bedding, toys, and personal space. Feeling restricted or confined leads to feelings of anxiety or stress for most animals. Additionally, owning too many pets of the same species can cause behavioral issues, which are worsened by space constraints. 
  • Work Out – Pets also require daily interaction and exercise. Excluding pocket pets and exotics, your active, fur-covered pets need at least 20-30 minutes of activity every day. If you’re already struggling to walk more than 2-4 dogs each day, you may already have too many pets.  
  • Sanitation – Keeping too many pets can result in unsafe conditions. It can be difficult to maintain litter boxes (1 box per cat, plus 1) and the yard when too many pets use them. Excessive animal waste around the home and property can lead to infection or disease in both pets and people alike, not to mention create a smelly and unsightly mess.

Too Many Pets, Not Much Else

Provided they have the financial wherewithal, time, and space required for everyone to peacefully and safely coexist, pet owners may find that they can easily keep several different animals at once. Remember, pet proofing the house and closely observing body language are both crucial for success.

The goal is that each animal in your care achieve optimal health, safety and well being. If you’re second-guessing whether you have too many pets, please reach out to us at Elmhurst Animal Care Center