Adoption Option? 8 Reasons Why Rescuing An Older Dog May Be The Perfect Choice!

October 8th, 2008 by Dan

Puppies are irresistible. They’re cute and cuddly and frankly, most people can’t resist them. However, puppies are also a ton of work! They need continuous supervision, consistent training, hours of devotion and even when these things are provided – they still manage to make a mess! If you’re up for the challenge, adopting a puppy may be a good option for you. However, there are quite a few reasons why choosing an older shelter dog can be beneficial.

* You get what you see. With a rescued puppy, you often have no idea how large a dog you will end up with. When you look at an older dog you are able to judge weather its size and appearance (though they may be in need of some grooming!) would be a good fit for your family.

Photo by bublynski

* You can often judge an adult dogs personality, even in a shelter environment. Asking questions of rescue and shelter workers can give you a better idea of an older dogs temperament. Many adult and senior dogs still have plenty of energy to walk and play, but will be well over their hyper phase. Puppies still have a lot of formative growing to do and behavioral issues can become evident as they develop.

Photo by tsorningold

* Often older dogs have already learned some obedience commands. Many of them are housebroken. Adult and senior dogs are often given up when their family moves, an owner dies or for financial reasons. These dogs are usually distressed in a shelter environment, as they have lived in a home for their entire lives.

Photo by gotsetters

* Puppies need multiple series of vaccines and worming treatments in their first few months of life. When you adopt an older dog, the fee should cover vaccinations, spaying or neutering and a heartworm check. Some shelters will even include microchipping in the cost.

* The bond you form with your newly adopted adult dog can start as soon as you get him! In choosing a compatible dog, you can experience what you desire from dog ownership from the get go. You can go on long walks (an activity you’d have to wait on with a growing puppy), take him swimming, go on road trips or hiking. With a puppy, you’re going to spend the majority of your time socializing and training (and cleaning up after) your new baby.

Photo by Lisa Small

* Older dogs can learn new tricks! In fact, they usually have more of an ability to focus than a pup does once you learn what motivates them. Work with toys, treats and praise when attempting to teach your rescue dog a new command and figure out which “does it” for him.

* Senior dogs are often wonderful companions for senior citizens! Their exercise requirements are not as demanding and often their laid back nature is compatible with the lifestyles of older individuals.

Photo by danakay

* If you choose to adopt an adult or senior dog, you are truly saving a life. The older the animal, the more of a chance it will be euthanized in a shelter who is inundated with individuals who want to adopt puppies.

If you’re searching the shelter for that perfect pooch, don’t dismissively walk past the cage of the full-grown guy who’s giving you those sad eyes. He might be your next best friend! Give an older shelter dog a chance!

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