Reasons To Adopt an Older Dog

Shelley Wenger

Though most people prefer puppies and young dogs, adopting an older dog has some advantages.
Photo byShelley Wenger at Canva

I recently wrote an article about why an older cat may be a better fit for you and your family than a kitten. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, you can check it out here

The same could be said of older dogs. You and your family may want to think about helping an older dog enjoy the rest of his life with a family, instead of living in a kennel.

Unsure about what you should do? Here are some reasons why you might want to consider an older dog instead of a puppy. 

You could save a life. The truth is that most older dogs don’t get adopted, as quickly as younger dogs and puppies. In fact, they have about a twenty-five percent adoption rate, compared to the sixty percent that young adults and puppies have. 

Though most people assume older dogs have problems, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, there are times when their owners had to move and couldn’t take them. Sometimes their owners die and there is nobody who is able to take them in. 

In fact, you most likely will get a fully-trained dog. Older dogs are usually housebroken, so you won’t have to worry about messes in your home. They usually are able to walk on a leash and know a few basic commands, such as sit. 

You know exactly what you are getting. When you get a puppy from a shelter, most of the time they can only guess what breed your new puppy is. This means that the cute little puppy you adopted may turn into thirty, fifty, or over one hundred pounds! When you get an adult, you know exactly how big they are going to get because they are done growing! 

You also have a good idea of their temperament. Though the dog may be scared at the shelter, you will be able to get a good idea of how he or she is going to behave. You may be able to find a calm dog who would just be happy to lay beside you on the couch in the evenings. 

Puppies can be destructive. Puppies go through a lot of stages, including the teething stage where you can’t leave them alone for even a second! They will chew anything that they can get in their mouth (and then some)! 

They can also be destructive when they are playing. They can mess up furniture with their jumping and running around. Puppies often knock things off of counters, as well as overturn objects while they are running throughout the house. 

Though activity is a good thing, the truth is that older dogs are less likely to be destructive to your home. A good walk or two and some ball playing should be enough activity for your older friend. 

This can often make them better pets for young children. Young children can be hard on puppies. They may pick them up and carrying them around, dropping them or hurting them. Though your older dog may need some care due to arthritis, your children will be able to play with him or her. 

It might be cheaper to adopt an older dog. Many shelters don’t charge as much for older pets as they do for their younger versions. In fact, there are some places that waive any fees if you are willing to take an older dog into your home! 

If you have decided to open up your home to another dog, you may want to look at an older one. You could save a life by adopting him or her. You are also going to have a good idea of what you are going to get. An older dog is already fully grown, so you don’t have to worry that your sweet little puppy has Great Dane in him or her! His or her behavior isn’t likely to change either, so you can decide what temperament you need to have in your life. 

You also won’t have to worry about going through the teething and potty training stages, which can be very destructive and time-consuming. Instead, you might just have a dog who loves to lay beside you on the couch. Even better, it may cost you less to adopt an older dog. You may even be able to take one for free


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Shelley is a small town farm mom of two boys. She is a veterinary technician, so she is proud to write about all kinds of animals and their care. She also loves to write about writing, running a business, working from home, and much more.

Glenville, PA

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