8 Reasons To Adopt An Older Dog Instead Of A Puppy

by Carolyn de Lorenzo
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If you’re thinking about adopting a new canine fur baby in 2019, you might be daydreaming about all the ways in which puppies are just too unbearably cute. When many people think about getting a new dog, a puppy is often the first thing they think about. But, before you head on down to your local animal shelter to rescue your next adorable canine, consider the benefits of adopting an older animal. There are plenty of reasons to adopt an older dog you might not have considered yet. Animal shelters are full of adult and senior dogs who are so deserving of new, forever homes — and an older dog might actually be a better fit for you, depending on your situation.

Many people associate older dogs with higher vet bills, which not everyone can afford, or sadly, less time to spend together. While these are legitimate reasons for wanting to explore your adoption options, adopting a younger dog isn't a guarantee that neither of those things will be the case, either. Puppies are a *ton* of work, and you might not be prepared for the demands of that first year or two of your dog’s life. Frequent vet visits for vaccines, training classes, and a bazillion supplies can mean a very expensive investment in your new fur baby. Younger dogs can also have lots of energy that aren't suited to everyone's lifestyles.

If you’re up for the challenges of raising a puppy, then by all means go for it. But it’s definitely a decision that should be weighed carefully — especially if you’ve never raised a baby dog before. Alternatively, adopting an older dog can be a beautifully rewarding experience, and giving an older pup a second chance at the life they deserve is a wonderful thing to do. If you're thinking about adopting a dog this year, here are eight reasons why adopting an older dog in 2019 might be one of the best choices you'll ever make.


Not A Lot Of Surprises

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When you adopt an older dog, you have a much better idea of what you're getting yourself into than you do with a baby animal. Questions about how big your dog will be, any health or behavioral issues they may deal with, or what kind of temperament they have, are all pretty much on the table with dogs who are fully grown, according to Mother Nature Network.


Potty & Behavioral Training Is Often A Non-Issue

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While not all adult dogs left at shelters are properly potty trained, if that's not the case, you'll know that before bringing your fur kiddo home. Contrary to popular belief, many, many dogs surrendered to animal shelters are fully trained, writes BarkPost, but also, adult dogs don't have tiny puppy bladders, which means that they have more control overall — even if they do still need a little help in the housetraining department.


You Get A Regular Sleep Schedule

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Like sleeping? Me too. And puppies are little geniuses when it comes to disrupting the precious stuff. Whether by howling, wanting snuggles or munchies, or just getting amped up by random spurts of energy, raising a puppy tends to mean that you get a lot less sleep for a while. An adult dog, on the other hand, is usually more than happy to accommodate your rest schedule, and may even help you get better sleep, according to research.


Chewing Issues Are Usually Resolved

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Adult dogs are well past the teething age, writes BarkPost, which means that you get to keep your shoes without putting them (or your baby dog) on lockdown. A lovely bone or chew toy is all your adult fur baby needs to curb their urge to chew, while also helping to keep their teeth clean.


All Dogs Deserve A Forever Home

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No matter what the reason was that your dog was surrendered to a shelter in the first place, your potential fur kiddo deserves to be loved and well cared for in a permanent home for life. Many people surrender dogs due to illness, financial problems, or an inability to properly take care of them, so it's important that these animals get a second chance.

If your rescue pup has behavioral issues, make sure you're ready for the responsibility of helping them solve those. Otherwise, it's best to choose a dog whose needs are less complex.


You Might Be Saving A Precious Life

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Sadly, some animal rescue groups still euthanize many healthy animals who get surrendered to their shelters. Older dogs and seniors are most at risk of losing their lives when left at a rescue center, according to research. By adopting an older or senior dog, you might very well be saving a dog's life.


You Get Lower Costs Overall

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Older and senior dogs have lower food needs than growing puppies do, according to Mother Nature Network (MMN), and they also need less in the way of vet visits, training treats, toys, and behavioral classes. By adopting an older or senior dog, your costs may be less overall.


...And So Much Doggie Love

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Rescued adult dogs are some of the most loving and loyal around. By rescuing your dog from a shelter, and giving them the home they deserve, you basically get to be your dog's forever hero. And that includes lots of snuggles, cuddles, and pup playtime, too.


No matter what your reasons for adopting a dog are, there are few bonds as profound as those between humans and pups. Whether you adopt a pup with special needs, or choose a dog who requires less complex care, there are so many reasons to adopt an older dog in 2019. By making sure that you're knowledgeable about your new fur baby's needs, and committing to being their home forever (and ever), you'll be giving your new best friend the best life possible. And that just might be one of the most rewarding things you'll ever do.