I know, I know… it’s impossible to resist the cuteness of a puppy. But don’t let that cuteness shut off the rational part of your brain. Puppies are not for everyone. They require special care and attention, and they can be a real handful. Adult dogs, however, come with many benefits you won’t get when you adopt a puppy…
You’ll Get More Time to Yourself
Puppies can’t be left alone. They need constant supervision, just like toddlers. Best case scenario, you can leave them in a crate for a few hours.
Adult dogs, on the other hand, can be left alone for up to eight hours. So whether you have to go to work, leave for awhile to run errands, or just meet up with some friends, you won’t have to hire a pet sitter to get some time to yourself.
You Don’t Have to Potty Train Them
Most adult dogs have already been housebroken. They can also hold their bladder a lot longer than puppies. When you have a puppy, you can be certain they are going to pee on your floor. A lot. If you hate cleaning up puddles of urine, an adult dog is a much better choice.
No Teething Period
Do you like your clothes, books, electronics, furniture, and other possessions in tact? You know, not in a million pieces strewn all over the house as if they were put in a blender that exploded.
Puppies go through a long teething phase, and they need to chew on things frequently throughout this process. Sure, you can give them chew toys, but the reality is, they’re going to chew on anything they can wrap their jaws around.
Adult dogs don’t have to teeth, so they’re a lot less likely to chew up your stuff. Even though most adult dogs still enjoy gnawing on something, they’re usually content with a bone or a chew toy. They no longer have that puppy-impulse to chew on literally everything.
When you adopt an adult dog, what you see is what you get. With puppies, there’s no telling. Many people think they can predict the size a puppy will grow to, as well as what kind of demeanor it will have, etc…
The truth is, no one can accurately predict those things, and the people who think they can are actually just guessing. Sure, if you know the exact breed, you can take a good guess; but it’s still just a guess.
Puppies are like human babies, in that respect. Sometimes tall parents have short kids, and vice versa. When I was a kid, everyone thought I was going to grow up to be a football player. Well, I’m 5’10, 160 lb, and I don’t even like sports.
This same thing happens with puppies all the time. I’ve seen Pit Bulls and German Shepherd’s turn out half the size of what their owners expected. Conversely, I’ve seen other puppies grow way beyond what their owners were prepared for.
As for a dog’s personality, there’s just no way of telling what it’s going to be like when they’re only 12 weeks old. Again, if you know the dog’s exact breed, that can give you a ballpark idea, but there are always outliers.
Adult dogs are open books. You know exactly how big they’re going to get; what they’re specialized at, if anything; what their general demeanor is like; and in some cases, you can even find out extensive information about their history and previous owners. Knowing all of this makes it a lot easier to choose a dog that’s right for you.
Adult Dogs Come Preloaded with Commands
Most adult dogs already know at least a handful of basic words and commands, like their name, “sit,” “no,” “good boy/girl,” etcetera. Puppies don’t know anything, which can be very frustrating for a new owner. I got my dog when she was between six and 12 months old – not exactly an adult or a young puppy. She already knew her name and a bunch of other basic commands – she even knew some tricks – and that made training her a whole lot easier.
Adult Dogs Have Already Been Spayed/Neutered, Microchipped, Vaccinated
When you get a new puppy, there are a lot of medical procedures you need to have done to them, such as spaying/neutering, microchipping, and vaccinating. Most adult dogs have already had all of those things done. Granted, you’ll need to get them vaccinated annually, but at least you won’t have to worry about that for the first year.
You’ll Save a Lot of Money
Adult dogs are typically less expensive to adopt and care for. Apart from not having to pay for the things mentioned above, you’ll save a lot of money in other ways. Just like kids, puppies need a lot of stuff that they inevitably outgrow. Adult dogs don’t really need much more than food and water, something to chew on, the occasional treat, and maybe a dog bed.
You’ll Get a Better Night’s Sleep
Adult dogs can sleep all the way through the night, whereas puppies can’t. If you get a puppy, it’s going to wake you up in the middle of the night – maybe even several times per night. Either that, or it’s going to make a mess in the house that you’ll have the pleasure of cleaning in the morning. If you value your sleep, you should adopt an adult dog, not a puppy.
You Won’t Have to Puppy-Proof Your House
Are you happy with your house the way it is now? You know, not full of crates and gates to keep curious puppies out of places they don’t belong, while all the stuff you really like is stored high out of reach on shelves so it doesn’t become puppy chow. Puppies are destructive and a danger to themselves. If you don’t want to have to puppy-proof your house, adopting an adult dog is the way to go.
They’ll Appreciate You More
Puppies have no appreciation or respect for their owners. They barely know who you are. As far as they’re concerned, you’ve always existed, always will exist, and therefore are granted to them. They have no life experience to reference, so they don’t know the difference between a good life and a bad one. It’s beyond their comprehension.
An adult dog, on the other hand, when given a good home, is really going to appreciate it and thank you for it. I know that sounds a bit corny and sentimental, but it’s true. Whether their previous owners were bad, or they’ve simply spent their whole life in a shelter, they’re going to realize that life has improved for them once you adopt them.
You’ll Save a Life
Adult dogs are adopted less and put down more frequently than puppies. It’s just a cruel fact of life. Most people want to adopt a puppy, because they’re cute and they don’t come with any “baggage.” Adult dogs are often viewed as too old, not cute enough, or damaged goods; which leads to no one adopting them, and thus an untimely death.
When you adopt an adult dog, you’re almost certainly preventing one more animal from being put to sleep. Even if you end up getting your adult dog from a no-kill shelter, you can still feel good knowing you gave that dog a better life. No dog wants to live out its life in a cage.