Should You Adopt an Older Dog?

An older dog can bring just as much love and joy to a family as can a puppy. And while many families usually prefer to adopt a puppy, there are several advantages to adopting an older dog. And with the amount of dogs that are euthanized every year, adopting an older dog is something worth considering. Here are some of the issues that you should think about when adopting an older dog.

The Benefits of an Older Dog

One of the greatest benefits of adopting an older dog is that usually manner training and potty training are not necessary. By the time most dogs reach the age of two, they have already established the majority of the habits that they will ever have. If the dog you are seeking to adopt has lived with a family and been acclimated to humans, he will usually be well mannered, house broken and comfortable living in a family environment.

If you have difficulty taking walks everyday and simply want a dog to keep you company, you may be able to safely bypass the puppy stage altogether by adopting an older dog. Depending on what age of dog that you choose, he will most likely already have reached the point in his life when he can be considered mature. Dogs of a mature age, usually around five to seven, have gotten past the puppy stage and are typically more mellow and mild. This can be a great benefit to you if you don't the energy to raise a puppy.

And last, but not least, is the benefit of saving another dog's life.

The Disadvantages of an Older Dog

Perhaps the greatest challenge when deciding to adopt an older dog is the potential health concerns that will come along with him. As the aging process takes over, you may find that the dog you adopt is overwhelmed with health conditions. Or on the flipside, he could be an overall healthy dog that continues to live many years. There is no way to tell what the outcome will be. However, most shelters will give you a run down on the health conditions that they know exist in the dog so that you can make an informed decision.

Another possible disadvantage to adopting an older dog can be temperament. Not all dogs have lived happy lives with families and, in most cases, would not be in a shelter if they did. That does not mean that there is anything wrong with them or that they aren't worth loving; rather it simply means that some older dogs may require more training than others or may have specific needs, such as a child-free home.

The most important thing to consider with an older dog is your lifestyle and the specific needs of the dog. This can help to ensure a better fit and give the process of adoption a happy ending.