Choosing the Right Vet for Your Pet

Maturity Before Mischief: Reasons To Adopt An Adult Dog Instead Of A Puppy

Out of the approximate 3.9 million dogs that enter animal shelters each year across America, less than half are adopted out. As prospective dog owners browse the shelters in search of a new furry family member, few can resist the innocent, youthful eyes and playful antics of a puppy. The cute factor that puppies exude results in many hopeful adult dogs being left behind. If you are on a quest for a canine companion, consider some of the benefits of adopting an adult dog.

Bypass Puppy Behavior

As adorable as puppies can be, there are behavioral obstacles that come with raising a puppy that must be worked through with diligent training and patience. Some of the puppy perils that you can bypass by adopting an adult dog include:

  • Housebreaking - an adult dog's bladder is larger, enabling him to hold his urine for several hours longer than a puppy can. Adult dogs have likely already been house trained.
  • Chewing - an adult dog is past the teething stage in which puppies chew on human fingers, toes, furniture and other unacceptable objects to relieve teething discomfort.
  • Crying - unlike a puppy, an adult dog is less likely to cry for attention overnight or whenever he is crated during the adjustment period of settling into his new home.

Easier Training Success

To a puppy, every nook and cranny in his environment is new and worthy of exploration, and everything is a potential plaything. One of the benefits that an adult dog offers is his longer attention span and ability to focus without being so easily distracted by youthful curiosity. Focus makes the training process easier. Additionally, many adult dogs are already familiar with basic commands, such as sit. Since adult dogs are easier to train, they make ideal companion choices for first-time dog owners who are not experienced with the demands of training a puppy.

What You See Is What You Get

When it comes to mixed breed dogs, you can never be certain what a puppy's adult size is going to be or what his ultimate personality will be like. That beagle mix puppy that you hope will top out at 35 pounds when he is full grown may surprise you when he nears 70 pounds, thanks to a German shepherd ancestor in his family tree. While one feisty and playful puppy may remain so throughout his life, another puppy with a similar personality may mellow out into a docile and distinguished grownup. An adult dog will be finished growing and developing, and his size and temperament will be established.

Lower Initial Veterinary Expenses

Puppies must undergo a series of vaccinations that are administered every three to four weeks until they build up full immunity. Once the series is complete, they require only boosters every one to three years, depending on the vaccines. Also keep in mind that young puppies need to be spayed or neutered. If you adopt an adult dog, all of these things have already been performed. You should still bring your newly adopted adult dog to a veterinarian for an examination to confirm that he is healthy and to get him started on heartworm prevention. Once this visit is out of the way, a healthy adult dog should only require a wellness veterinary examination annually.

Be a Hero to a Dog

The most compelling reason to choose an adult dog over a puppy is the knowledge that you will save a life. Many families visit animal shelters with the goal of adopting a puppy, and they are instantly captivated by the irresistible puppies that they encounter. Puppies have much higher chances of being adopted quickly, and the adult dogs that are passed up are either euthanized or continue to live out their lives in no-kill facilities. By adopting an adult dog, you are granting him a chance at a full and enriched life and the loving forever home that he deserves. This lifesaving choice makes you a hero, and as the dog settles in and becomes emotionally secure in his new home, his gratitude will strengthen the precious bond of friendship that develops between the two of you for the remaining years that you share.

For more information, talk to a professional like Centennial Animal Hospital.