When families think of welcoming a dog into their household, typically they are imagining a puppy. There is something very appealing about raising a dog from a very young age, and that's not even touching on how cute they are when they are small!
However, there is a lot to be said about adopting an older dog, particularly from a shelter. For many families, this is a better option than looking after a puppy, which can quickly become a handful. Here are just a few of the reasons you should opt for an adult dog when the time comes to adopt a new pet.
The common misconception about adult dogs, particularly if they're from a shelter, is that there is something wrong with them. The idea of these pooches being 'problem pets' might be true for one or two of them, but on the whole this is simply not the case.
Dogs get left at a shelter for a number of reasons, but mainly due to the fact their previous owners did not have the time or money to care for them properly. This means while you may get a dog that is timid or upset when you first meet them, this is unlikely to last.
Instead, what will probably happen is that an adult dog will be incredibly grateful when you take them back from the shelter and bring them into your family. Dogs get lonely just like people, and being around a household that will love and care for them will make them incredibly happy. This will leave you with an extremely affectionate pet.
They're easier to look after
Puppies can be a handful, to say the least. They need a lot of care and attention, otherwise they can end up being unwell or hurt. As such, a busy family may find that looking after a puppy is simply too much, and would be better off adopting an older dog.
Young dogs have all sorts of requirements. For example, they need a different kind of food, and must be fed at certain times of the day so they have enough energy to get through 24 hours. You do not have this kind of issue with older dogs.
This doesn't mean you don't have to pay attention to an older dog's diet, of course. You should make sure they get a high-quality, nutritious dog food like James Wellbeloved. However, you can afford to space apart their mealtimes to suit you, and you don't have to watch them all day, making them a more low-maintenance pet.
They won't need training
You might think that you don't care much about training your dog, and you don't mind if they won't sit when commanded. However, there is a certain amount of dog training you cannot avoid: house training.
If you want your dog to live in the same home as you, you must be prepared to train it out of a million different bad habits while it is a puppy. This can be as simple and harmless as teaching them not to jump up on the furniture, or as important as training them not to chew on electrical wires.
Then, of course, there is the joy of housetraining. If you adopt an older dog, they are more likely to have gone through these processes already, and so will be much easier to bring into your home without having to teach them not to destroy it.
If you adopt a shelter dog, the chances are you will be taking in an animal that is feeling lonely and abandoned. Sometimes people have to give up pets that they love, but dogs will not understand what is going on, just that their family has left them. This is obviously very upsetting.
If you don't like the idea of dogs being lonely like this, then adopting one is the best thing you can do. Watching them transform from a shy, sad and timid creature into a happy and healthy pet is incredibly rewarding, and a completely different experience from raising a puppy.
Written by: Hannah