Typically when a family starts thinking about adding a new dog to their household, most people immediately jump to which puppy they want. I totally get it. Puppies are adorable, fluffy, and you really just can’t resist puppy eyes. What people rarely consider is all of the work that goes into raising a puppy into an adult dog, like:
- Frequent late night restroom breaks in and out of the house
- Tons of house training and behavior training hours
- The socialization process for your puppy
- Possibly having your things torn up as they learn their boundaries
There’s a reason people say that having a puppy is like a light version of having a newborn–it’s a lot of work. Now, don’t get me wrong, all of that work is TOTALLY worth it if you’re willing to put in the effort.
However, you can get just as much love, affection, and incredible companionship from a dog that’s already passed the puppy phase. And, in general, there’s less work involved up front. Adopting an adult or older dog is an amazing way to add a new canine to your family. Here are five reasons why:
You are saving a dog’s life.
This is generally true whether you adopt a puppy or an adult dog. However, the harsh truth is that adult dogs are adopted at a very low frequency, and their alternatives are many times tragically grim. Puppies will get adopted no matter what.
Most people don’t consider an adult dog for adoption, because often they are viewed as “damaged goods”. When you adopt an adult dog, you do more good than you realize. You are saving that dog’s life, and you’re saving the life of a dog that you just opened up kennel space for. Even in no-kill facilities this is true. An empty run means the shelter can pull from another shelter with a higher rate of risk. Sadly, no-kill policies are still not implemented at every shelter, so every little bit helps. Link
Housetraining your dog is easier.
There’s a chance you will still need to housetrain an adult dog, even if it’s just for a little bit, but generally speaking the housetraining will go a lot faster, and will be much easier as well.
Adult dogs can go longer in between bathroom breaks, and it’s usually a lot more predictable than when a puppy will need to go to the bathroom. Older dogs are at an age where they usually know how to make you aware of their needs, unlike puppies who are still learning this life skill. You may also get even luckier, and adopt an adult dog that is completely housetrained!
You don’t have to guess your dog’s size
It’s nearly impossible to accurately predict how big a puppy will get when you first meet them. You can make a general prediction based on their breed, but it’s never totally accurate. You can also find hundreds of different online theories of how to determine the size your dog will be, but almost all are unreliable and not backed by scientific proof.
When you adopt an adult dog they are already fully grown, and you won’t get any surprises on size as they get older. They also tend to be more settled as far as their personality goes. Over the first year or so some things will change, but for the most part there shouldn’t be any sudden changes in personality.
Adult or older dogs have lower vet bills.
When you adopt a puppy, depending on their age, you will have to pay for another round or two of puppy vaccines. You may also have to pay for surgery to have them spayed or neutered, which can get pricey but is incredibly important to have done.
When you adopt an adult dog they generally come with vaccines that are good for a year, and are already spayed or neutered. It’s still a good idea to get them checked out by your vet, so you can start building that relationship. However, generally speaking you shouldn’t have to be there every few months like you would with a puppy.
You can take your dog out right away!
With puppies, you want to be careful about where you take them at first. Socializing is important, but you can’t go everywhere. With an adult dog, you sure can! You don’t have to wait for vaccines to be finished, or worry about them getting puppy diseases. Hit the town with your new four legged friend right away, and enjoy all the dog friendly perks of Austin!
I myself have adopted two adult dogs, and they are amazing additions to our family. I cannot recommend enough to consider adopting an adult dog.
Reach out for help!
If you are considering adoption, but aren’t sure how to find the right dog for your family, reach out to our trainers! We would love to help you find the right fit for your family. If you’ve already found the right fit and want to start off on the right foot, then check out the classes starting in our spring quarter.
The Head… by Roman Boed
Lenny… by Andy McLemore
Sekei… by Harold Meerveld