Christmas has come and gone, but now, families are dealing with a problem that came from something that they thought would be a happy memory. What was under the christmas trees? Many children found a small, wiggly present just for them. As they pulled off the lacey bow, they breathlessly held back in anticipation, knowing that it may not be what they have been wishing for all year. Then they heard the little whine that could only mean one thing, a puppy with soft, fluffy fur, and a cute wiggly tail. An hour goes by before the children thought of him again; but by then, it was too late. He urinated on the rug and chewed on two pairs of shoes. This is the story that follows the opening of the small, wiggly present. Many parents do not realize how much responsibility a puppy can be, but by adopting, an adult dog will help keep the puppy frustrations away.
There are many benefits to adopting an adult dog, rather than a puppy. First, the cost of adoption is cheaper than buying a puppy. The adoption fee will also include medical care like spaying, neutering, and vaccinating. It is very unlikely that medical cost will be included in a contract when buying a puppy. In addition, the experts at rescue centers and humane societies can help families pick out the right kind of dog. The Humane Society of the United States writes that they will “[…] screen animals for specific temperaments and behaviors to make sure each family finds the right pet for its lifestyle.” Most importantly, when adopting a dog, there will be no financial support going to puppy mills, or pet stores that support puppy mills. “Puppy mills are ‘factory style’ dog-breeding facilities that put profit above the welfare of dogs”.
While the adoption of puppies is important, the adoption of an adult dog is the key to having a stress free home. A dog becomes an adult between ten and eighteen months. The smaller breeds of dogs will mature faster than larger breeds. A dog becomes a senior and can start showing his age at seven years, and can live between thirteen and eighteen years. This means that a young adult dog can still have a lot of life to give a family.
All puppies will need to be trained for about a year. The first thing puppies will need to learn is not to urinate in the house. This process is called housebreaking or potty training. There are many ways to potty train a puppy, but all of these techniques require time, patience, and a good carpet cleaner. Puppies have very small bladders. The younger the puppy, the smaller its bladder will be. This means that it cannot keep from urinating for more than fifteen minutes at a time. As the puppy gets older, its bladder will become larger, allowing it to wait for longer periods of time. However, this still means that there will be midnight potty training sessions. In contrast, “adult dogs are likely to be already housebroken. If they’re not, they do have the physical capacity to hold it in (unlike puppies) and are generally fast-learners.
Puppies will also need to be watched. They should never be left alone for more than thirty minutes at a time. They will chew on anything, including shoes and expensive furniture. All puppies go through a teething phase, just as human babies do. This phase is their way of testing their environment, and a way for them to pull out their puppy teeth. This puppy phase can cost hundreds of dollars in damages. Deborah Hoffman writes, “…one chewed the wooden molding in our kitchen, and another destroyed hundreds of dollars of irrigation. The ten-month old managed to eat an entire foam chair (yuck!) and liked tearing chunks out of our berber [sic] carpet when we weren’t looking”. Once again, puppies will require time and patience to teach them what not to chew on. However, adult dogs have already explored their world and have lost all of their puppy teeth. They have no more reasons for chewing on non-food items.
Lastly, when adopting an adult dog, “Their personality is already developed, and you’ll be able to spot the characteristics you’re looking for much more easily than with a puppy or kitten” says Pia Salk from adopt-a-pet.com. This means knowing most of the dog’s behaviors before bringing them home. For example, does it like to curl on the couch and cuddle or does it like to be in its kennel (for owners that may need to kennel their dogs while they are at work). This also includes knowing some of the bad behaviors a dog might have, such as, does it get along well with other dogs or is it food aggressive. Some owners are better equipped to handle these problems than others are. Buying a puppy before knowing its personality can mean disaster for a family, after the puppy becomes an adult dog. Will it still fit in with the family? Will the children still like to play with the puppy after it is all grown up? Questions like these do not need to be asked when adopting an adult dog.
Bringing a new dog into a family can be either very rewarding or very frustrating. Always choose carefully when picking out a new family pet. Puppies are fun, but can be destructive. Does the bank account have the extra funds it will take to care for the puppy financially? There are so many adult dogs waiting to be adopted that could fit into a family perfectly. Check out an adoption center today.