Adopting a senior dog can create a winning situation for all involved. Adult dogs are often overlooked in the adoption process of new owners who are hoping to add a dog to their family. While everyone will agree that a puppy is just about the cutest thing on the planet, an older canine is often described as distinguished or beautiful. Let's explore a few of the real benefits that potentially come with adopting a senior dog.
Many adoptable senior dogs are already housebroken and have a fairly good notion of basic training skills. This depends, of course, on their prior home environment and owner, and whether it’s a puppy or senior dog, the necessity for a predictable daily routine will enhance and encourage good behavior. In the case of an adult dog, it is possible that on the basics and a lot more focus can be on the enjoyment of the canine's company.
Puppies have inexhaustible energy. This can lead to many destructive episodes within the home if the owner is not present enough. An older dog has a less likely chance of chewing up your shoes or rummaging through the garbage. For sure, a senior dog is going to want to have fun, but they're less likely to consider ruining your stuff a good time.
Exercise requirements for older dogs are a little less rigorous than those of puppies. There is a rhythm and routine to an older dog's exercise time, one that expands the relationship between owner and dog. It is the simple companionship of time well spent together.
As much as it doesn't seem right to reduce the addition of a new member to a transaction, that's exactly what it is, and you can spend a lot less by adopting a senior pet. This is not simply because adoption is typically less expensive than buying from a breeder or pet store (side note: pet stores... don't do it), but also because your cost of ownership goes down. As we've mentioned, a senior pet requires a bit less of your time up front. Sure, they still need daily exercise, but they probably don't need an expensive trainer, you won't be replacing carpeting or shoes, and they just generally require less money. That said, walking down the chew toy aisle after adopting a new family member is always dangerous because you just have to BUY ALL THE SQUEAKY THINGS!
What you see is what you get with an adult dog adoption. An adult dog is as big as she is ever going to get. With puppies whose breed mix is relatively unknown, you just never know what you're getting. The last thing you need to explain to your landlord is how your puppy ended up 30 lbs over the maximum weight allowed in your lease.
One of the primary motivations for people adopting a dog (as opposed to buying a puppy from a breeder) is to save the life of a dog. If this is your motivation, why not save one whose time is otherwise running out? There are a multitude of shelters, many filled to capacity. There is always a greater chance of a puppy or very young dog to be adopted. The adult and senior dogs will be the first on the lists to be euthanized. Hopefully, broadening your heart to make these adult dogs a real adoption option can literally save a life.
Like all things in life, there are choices to be made. When we set out to examine and educate ourselves on the finer points of an endeavor we are considering, we find ourselves on a suitable path of discovery. In the case of adopting an adult dog, the benefits are plentiful. From the understanding of the full size of growth, the built in socialization awareness, to the never ending loyalty and appreciation that comes from a dog who knows it has been saved, these adult dogs are surely worth our efforts to adopt!