My house has had two dogs for over three years now. My family members have gotten into the routine of caring for both Maggie and Bella, but now we’ve added a third.

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Meet Skittles. Skittles is a little ball of energy. Skittles isn’t fully potty trained. Skittles jumps on the counters. Skittles is a lot to handle, but we love her anyway.

Now, if any of you have ever owned multiple pets, you know it can be hectic sometimes. You try to get them all on the same schedule for everything; feeding, taking them outside, sleeping, etc. It’s not always easy, or even doable. It’s been a month since Skittles moved in with us, and here are a few ways that we feel.

Stage 1: Excitement

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I. Love. Animals. Bring me all the animals! This is going to be so much fun and not hard at all!

Stage 2: Reality

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Ok, so maybe this isn’t going to be as easy as I initially thought. Having three dogs is a huge commitment. It will still be fun, but I need to change some things about my life in order to care for these animals properly. Ok, panic over, bring on the puppies!

Stage 3: Feeding

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Have you ever had a group of hungry dogs come running towards you, tongues out and ready to eat? No? Well the GIF above doesn’t do it justice. All of my dogs are over 50 pounds. When they come running, you better be ready. Animals don’t always understand food will be there for them everyday. Especially if you have a rescue dog (like all three of mine). They all had to fight for their food at some point, and for all you know they might think this meal is their last. Luckily, getting your dogs on the same feeding schedule is a good way to let them calm down and avoid food aggression. Food aggression is when an animal becomes aggressive (growling, showing its teeth, etc) when around food. Having your animals eat together lets them relax and realize the food isn’t going anywhere, and they can eat in peace.

Stage 4: Walking

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I thought walking two large dogs was difficult, I can’t image walking all three at once. I’ve learned over the years that it’s best to walk each dog on their own. They get your undivided attention, and you don’t get dragged all over the neighbourhood.

Stage 5: Sleeping

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Trying to get your animals on the same sleep schedule is very hard. Don’t give up though, training an animal takes time and effort. The more Skittles watched Maggie and Bella sleep during the day, the more she learned to do the same. Now they nap together all the time.

Stage 6: Loving

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As hard as having three dogs is, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love them so much it literally hurts sometimes.

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Above: (Left to right) Maggie and Skittles

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Above: Bella and Maggie

As you can tell, it’s hard getting all three of them in the same photo.

Stage 7: Learning

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A day doesn’t go by where I don’t learn something new about my animals. Having a pet is a non-stop learning experience. Pay attention to your animals and ask for help when you need it. Your animals would do anything for you, and you should do anything for them. I hope you can relate to some of the things on this list, and feel free to share some of your own experiences in the comments below!

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