Adopting a new dog? An older dog might be the right choice for you.
Puppies are adorable. They’re so tiny and sweet and … needy. That’s right: Needy, as in, they need constant supervision. “Puppies are babies,” says Inga Fricke, director of Keeping Pets in Homes at the Humane Society of the United States. “There’s no question that they’re endearing, but they require more time, effort and energy than an adult dog. For many families, an adult dog is a better fit.”
Here are five reasons to consider adopting a grown-up dog.
Puppies need to go out frequently
Animal experts agree that puppies typically can hold their bladders for one hour more than their age in months, so a three-month-old pup needs to go potty every four hours. That means you must get up overnight and arrange to have someone take your baby out during the day if you work. Even adult dogs need a housetraining refresher course when they first arrive because any dog may not be reliable in a new environment. But because adults can hold their bladders longer, housetraining is usually accomplished must faster than with a pup.
Dogs of any age can form close bonds with you
Dogs have love to give no matter how old they are. “Dogs live in the moment,” says Fricke. “They bond with the person who’s showing them compassion and caring. Whether they are six months, six years or sixteen years old, dogs can form deep connections with their people.”
Grown-up dogs have some manners
Many dogs in shelters or rescues were in loving homes previously–they may have ended up there because their people had issues such as a serious illness forcing them to surrender their pets. As a result, many adult dogs have basic (or better) training. They’re also more settled. “Puppies teethe, put their mouths on everything and have that ‘puppy crazy’ energy stage,” says Fricke. “A mature dog’s energy level typically is more calm.”
What you see is what you get
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), it’s difficult to know what characteristics a puppy will have as a grown up. A mature dog’s size, temperament and personality are evident, so you can make a more informed decision about what’s right for your family, says Fricke. Another reason to choose an older dog: young kids can be too rough with a puppy.
Adult dogs deserve second chances, too
Everyone gravitates toward cute little puppies, so older dogs may have a tougher time finding an adoptive family. “A dog that’s a year or older can become a companion immediately without going through the wild puppy stage or the teenage years,” says Fricke. “Don’t rule out a grown-up dog because they can be amazing pets.”
by Arricca SanSone