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Should I Adopt an Older Dog?

Older dogs are good for people who have limited time to spend at home, and who don't have the energy to chase after a puppy.
Older dogs still enjoy going for walks.
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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 August 2014
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If you are considering adopting a dog, your first thought will probably go to a cute puppy. Very few people think about adopting an older dog, even though an adult pet can bring you equal lots of happiness and a lot less work. If you never thought about the possibility of bringing an older dog home, here are some of the pros and cons of the decision.

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PROS

  • It's cheaper. A puppy requires frequent visits to the vet, numerous vaccines, and possibly spay/neuter a surgery; an older dog adopted from a shelter will be up to date on vaccines and only need a check-up once a year.
  • It's easier. Older dogs are already housebroken, which means you don't have to deal with the aggravation of house "accidents" or having to walk the puppy ten times a day. An older dog is the best choice for somebody who is home only in the evenings or somebody who doesn't have the energy or physical ability to run after a puppy nonstop.
  • It's safer. If you haves small children or other pets in the house, an older dog may be the best choice. Puppies may not tolerate teasing well, and their playful biting can get rough at times. An older dog will understand limits better and become a companion rather than a rival.
  • It's humane. Adopting an older dog means you will be saving a life. Since most people tend to adopt puppies from shelters, older dogs are more likely to be put to sleep or to spend the rest of their lives living in shelter cages.

CONS

  • Time. An older dog will have fewer years ahead to share with you. If you're adopting from a shelter, it may be impossible to guess exactly how old the animal is, so you cannot know for sure how long you have with him.
  • Health issues. Although young dogs are not necessarily any healthier than older dogs, the complications certainly multiply as years pass. With an older dog, you may be dealing with problems that were caused by malnutrition or abuse from previous owners, about which you can not longer do anything about.

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Discuss this Article

christym
Post 1

We went to our local animal shelter to pick out a dog. The one that we chose seemed to be the perfect fit for us. He is a 7 year old yellow lab. He is the friendliest dog that I have ever seen. Since he is more mature, he didn’t tear things up or go around chewing on the furniture like a puppy would.

Even though we know that we won’t have him around as long as if we had gotten a puppy, we know that we made the right choice. He is very healthy and well-mannered.

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