The idea of a newborn puppy in your arms is irresistible. A pile of cuteness, with two ears and tail. But if you can look beyond those oversized eyes, you may see some great reasons to put the puppy down and give the older dog (the one in the back) another look.
There are many great reasons to consider adopting an older pet. Consider these for yourself, or use them to persuade someone you know, who’s thinking of adopting. The shelters and pets will thank you!
Training – Older pets generally have some training, even if it’s only (the all-important) potty training. Once adult dogs get settled into their new home, they often “remember” additional training too!
Time for yourself – Bottom line, puppies take a lot of work. They require training, socializing, exercising, clean up and more. Of course older dogs require and deserve plenty of your time as well, but they’re a bit more settled and patient.
They know “No” – An adult dog has certainly learned the meaning of the word “no”, they are more likely to respect it. Puppies? Not so much. Just consider all the money you’ll save in carpet, furniture and shoes alone!
Socialized – Puppies are still learning how the whole doggy-world works. Adult dogs have already been socialized and often get along with all sorts of animals, since they’ve been exposed to so much more.
Instant companion – For a lot of excitement, puppies can’t be beat. However, older dogs will sit by your side, stroll with you on your daily walk and demand only as much time as you’d like to share.
Truth in advertising – Every dog is one of a kind, just as every family is unique. Once a dog is “grown up”, what you see is truly what you get. Their level of activity and temperament is easily observed. They’ve also achieved their final size (except for a bit of “filling out”, as we all do).
With puppies you may know the activity level and size of the breed, but you never really know! Adopters are sometimes surprised when their puppy turns out much larger, longer or more active than they guessed! This is especially true with (awesome) mixed-breed dogs.
Help a shelter out – Most everyone who enters a shelter is looking for a puppy or young dog. By overlooking the residents who will be quickly scooped up, you can help the shelter with some of their older residents, equally deserving of love. You’ll also be saving those that are closest to “the end”, unless the shelter is designated as 100% “no-kill”.
Everyone deserves a fresh start – If you’re at all concerned that an older dog won’t bond with you or won’t heal from past emotional traumas, don’t be! Dogs live in the moment and will bond unconditionally to a new pet parent who shows them the love they deserve. They have the wonderful ability to “keep calm and move on”, which we can all learn from.
Lower medical bills – Who doesn’t like to save money? An adult dog has likely been altered, had many of their preventative vaccines and testing is done for heartworm. Puppies, like babies, visit the doctor much more often!
It just feels good – Okay, this is a bit subjective, but hear me out. Adopting an older pet just makes a statement like no other about the value and beauty of life at all ages and stages. It’s one strong voice, in a world which worships youth, declaring that all life is precious! Amen to that.