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9 Great Reasons to Adopt an Adult Dog

by Regan

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A few weeks ago we added a new member to our family. We adopted a dog! For years I was adamant about not wanting a dog because they seem like so much work. Don’t get me wrong, I like dogs. I just think my cats are easier. So what changed?

Well, my husband was recently told that he has to travel for work more than he had initially thought or agreed to. This is a big annoyance to all of us, but for now, we digress. Even though we have an alarm system, I am an anxious person so I decided that I would feel better if there was the addition of a bark as an extra deterrent. That, and I have been warming up to the idea of getting a dog now that my youngest is getting older. So, we decided to get a dog. Not a puppy, a dog. 

Reasons to Adopt an Adult Dog

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My husband and I were in agreement that we did not want a puppy. While puppies are adorable and do have some advantages, we had several reasons for wanting an adult dog instead. So we applied to a few rescue groups and kept our eyes on our local shelters for a dog in the 2 to 4 range, and that’s what we got.

The shelter said he was about three, but our vet thinks he is closer to two, or even a year and a half.  We’re not sure what kind of dog he is, but we have completed a dog DNA test and will find out in a few weeks. Our guess is a golden retriever and boxer mix, so we’ll see if we’re right or completely off base. 

They are already housebroken

Don’t we all have enough messes to clean up? I know that I didn’t want to add housebreaking a puppy to my list of chores, so a housebroken dog was a must for us. 

You get a full night’s sleep

This ties into housebreaking, but is its own pro to adopting an adult dog. Puppies are a lot like babies who can’t hold it through they night or need a snack at 3:00 am. After having children, I love my beauty sleep and I’m sure you do, too!

They don’t chew as much

How many stories have you heard from your friends about their dogs destroying things? I have heard of dogs eating shoes, toys, bras, even coffee table legs. An adult dog has finished teething so while they do need things to chew on, their chew instinct is usually satiated with chew toys or bones and snacks

They may be at least partially trained

You never know what kind of training an adopted dog has had, but chances are good that an adult dog will already know at least a few basic commands. 

They aren’t as rambunctious

All of that puppy energy will be gone or slowing down. An adult dog will also be less mouthy than a puppy, which is great if you have kids.

You know how big they will be

At around two years old, our dog is as big as he’s going to get. We wanted a dog in the 50 to 70-pound range, and that’s what we got. We won’t have any surprises with a puppy who may end up the size of a Newfoundland. 

Save some money

Dogs over a year old usually cost less to adopt than a puppy. At our shelter, a puppy under six months costs $275 and a dog over one year is only $125. If a dog is five years or older, their adoption fee is a mere $50. With the money you’ve saved on adoption fees, you can go buy high-quality dog food, a bed, and some toys for your new family member. 

Lower vet bills

When you adopt a dog, regardless of age, they are already spayed or neutered and have been fully vaccinated. They have also been tested for heartworm and other illnesses that can end up costing you big bucks. 

You will save a life

Everyone seems to want puppies, so the adult dogs often get passed over and end up staying at the shelter longer. That puppy will be an adult dog before you know it, so why not give an older dog a chance at a new life? A two or three-year-old dog will probably be with you for a good ten years depending on the breed and they will be forever grateful.  

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Jennifer Boaro February 16, 2017 - 11:32 am

I absolutely know that if I adopt a dog, I will look for an adult. If the animal is in a foster home then we might be able to learn a bit about his personality and compatibility, too.