Okay, okay. Puppies are fricking adorable. I adopted my own dog as a puppy, though I had actually been looking for an adult dog.
They are so very tempting – all new and darling and they evoke all those parental instincts. New and seasoned dog owners alike often prefer to get puppies, and the reasoning varies depending on the person.
Let’s be frank, here. Puppies are a pain in the ass. They chew (mine chewed two Blackberry smartphones. TWO.) everything they can get their little teeth in, and they require extensive commitments when it comes to time and training. It really is similar to having a child – you’ll be running home from work every couple of hours if you aren’t the stay-at-home type, and you’ll definitely be waking up in the middle of the night when he cries.
Between the obedience training, shots, potty training (and resulting messes), and everything else, you’re out a whole lot of time and money and it can be very frustrating. Rewarding, but frustrating, and there are other options for those who might want a dog in their lives without the hassle.
Adult dogs are just awesome. Yes, you can find purebreds through rescues or even breeders if you want papers, and there’s no reason to immediately discard the idea.
Whether you choose to go with a dog that’s two or ten, there are some major benefits.
- 1. Potty training is over and done with. No stained carpets or standing outside in the freezing rain at 3am to make sure Ace goes and gets praised. Yes, this is what you have to do with a puppy.
- 2. Manners! It’s ridiculously easy to find a dog that’s trained in basic obedience at a shelter or rescue, especially right now. You’ll have a polite dog that might require some brushing up or you can just start with teaching the fun tricks!
- 3. No chewed shoes, electronics, couches, baseboards, house siding… Puppies chew everything. They rip up carpet and have some inner sensor that lets them know which piece of furniture is the most expensive. Yes, some dogs do chew out of anxiety, but there’s plenty of non-chewers out there and at least your hands will be spared from those needle teeth!
- 4. Less hyperactivity. Of course there’s breeds like Labs and Boxers that never truly grow up, but if your lifestyle doesn’t involve a lot of jogging or physical activity, a four or five year old dog is awesome. This is especially true for older people, those with less mobility, or houses with small children that are easily knocked over.
- 5. Personal satisfaction and instant gratification. Maybe this shouldn’t be a primary reason for adopting an older pet (and you should absolutely be sure you want a dog first), but it is a direct benefit. You get to know that you very possibly saved a life and are providing a wonderful pet with love and companionship – and vice versa!
Of course there are adult dogs with new challenges out there. Some have anxiety, or have learned bad habits, or have health problems. But seriously, there are so many dogs out there waiting to be adopted that you can absolutely find your perfect companion.