When you are thinking about adding a canine friend to the family, you may be deciding whether you should buy a puppy or adopt an adult dog. Puppies and older dogs provide very different experiences as pets. Here are five questions to consider before making the trip to the breeder or dog shelter:
1. How much time are you willing to dedicate to your new pet?
- Let’s face the facts: adult dogs have a shorter life span. If you are not looking for more than a six-year commitment, an older dog may be a better choice for you.
- A puppy requires a significant time commitment, both on a day-to-day basis and over the years. They will need training and frequent attention. Also, dogs can live anywhere from six to 20 years, depending on the breed. If you feel you are ready for a lengthier time commitment, then you could make the choice to buy a puppy.
2. Do you have children?
- Older dogs tend to be the better choice for households with young children. They have already been trained and are beyond the chewing and biting phases; make sure to check with the shelter that the dog has been acclimated to children in its past training.
- Puppies go through a teething phase and may bite children. Also, young dogs are not trained and may knock small children down unintentionally when they are trying to play.
3. What kind of temperament would you like your dog to have?
- Senior dogs are calmer than puppies and require less “playtime.” An adult dog is usually content with walks and naps throughout the day. For future pet owners who would like a lower-energy dog, an older dog will offer companionship without the jumping, chewing and nipping of a puppy.
- Puppies, on the other hand, are playful and full of energy. If you are willing to play with your energetic dog often, then a puppy is probably right for you.
4. What is your lifestyle like?
- If you work long nights and tend to go out often, you should probably consider an older dog over a puppy. Senior dogs are usually housetrained and can make it through a long day without being taken outside. Also, they don’t have a puppy’s pent-up energy from a few hours without playtime.
- If you buy a puppy, it will need around-the-clock supervision and frequent walks to prevent housetraining accidents. Those with work schedules that prevent visits home during the day may have a difficult time training and caring for a puppy.
5. Do you want to train your dog?
- A senior dog’s training has already been instilled in them. They are (hopefully) housetrained and know not to bite. The downside of past training is that personality and behavior have already been shaped, and an adult dog may not have been trained the way you would have trained them.
- A puppy will need to be trained, which requires time, patience and probably some carpet cleaner. Also, because you are training the puppy from the beginning, you will shape its personality and behavior.
Whether you adopt an adult dog or buy a puppy, getting a pet is a long-term commitment. Both puppies and senior dogs will provide years of happiness and companionship. Before you drive home with your new furry friend, make sure you have a home and auto insurance policy to protect you both. You can even get an auto insurance quote online before you make the trip to the pet shelter or breeder to buy your new dog.
Christina Miller loves to write, especially about business. She holds a B.A. in Marketing. Christina’s favorite things include traveling, reading, and exploring new restaurants in Cleveland.
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