Adopting a dog is a very noble things and something many people choose to do.
Unfortunately, many adult dogs are waiting for someone to take them in much longer than what puppies do, due to many misconceptions when it comes to adopting an adult dog.
This is a shame as adopting an older dog can have many perks. We’ll list them here!
When adopting a dog, there are a lot of things to think about. Deciding whether you should adopt a puppy or an adult dog is one of them. If you’re leaning more toward adopting an adult dog, we hope that this article will help you determine if an older dog is right for you.
Why Adopting An Older Dog Is A Good Idea
Adopting an adult dog can be great due to so many reasons. We’ll name 7 of them – practical, as well as emotional. So, let’s get started. But before you continue reading, check out the video below!
1. Lower Maintenance
Older dogs don’t require nearly as much work and time as puppies do. Puppies are in constant need of vigilance and they have to be house trained, crate trained and you have to walk them much more than older dogs.
An adult dog is most likely housebroken and have some basic training. Its bladder control is also better and the energy level is lower. This doesn’t mean that an adult dog doesn’t have energy, it simply means that he or she won’t be jumping on furniture or chewing on everything out of boredom .
So, if you have a busy schedule and lead a hectic life, adopting an adult dog would be a great idea, as it will fit in quickly in your life.
2. Less Surprises
If you were to adopt a puppy, some elements would be unknown to you – size, grooming needs and personality. That’s not the case when adopting an adult dog. In that case, you can see exactly how big the dog is, test his personality and see if it gets along with people or other animals.
Most shelters try to get to know at least the basic information about every dog they take in. However, with puppies it’s impossible to know some things and you might end up surprised, while that won’t happen with an older dog.
3. Can Be Left Alone
As you know, puppies can’t be left alone for longer periods of time. On the contrary, older dogs are more mature and have better bladder control, so you will be able to leave them for a certain period of time when necessary. You won’t have to look for a dog sitter or leave them at a boarding facility if you have to leave the house for a couple of hours.
4. Able To Learn New Tricks
Contrary to the belief that older dogs who have already been trained can’t learn new tricks, adult dogs can in fact be trained at any age and are eager to learn new tricks. Your older dog will most likely be so happy because he has been given a chance for a new home and will do his best to please you. Additionally, older dogs have a greater attention span than puppies.
This will make training pretty easy and learning new tricks will become a fun and enjoyable experience for both of you! Check out the video below and see for yourself.
5. Calmer Temperament
Older dogs have calmer temperament than what puppies do. It’s very unlikable that an adult dog will be curious about everything and chew on whatever he comes across. He will also jump up and scratch less. If you also have a rather calm temperament an older dog will be a great suit!
6. Loyalty And Love
Older dogs have usually been through a lot – abandonment or death of a previous owner. This is the reason why they will most likely be very grateful and loyal companions if you take them in and care about them.
They kind of have a sixth sense about this and they feel they have been given a second chance. Because they’ve been accepted into your home, they will give you so much love in return!
7. You’re Saving A Life
Last but not least, by adopting an older dog you might be saving its life! Unfortunately, shelters are overcrowded and dogs older than 5 years are usually the first ones to be euthanized if they’re not adopted in a certain period of time. So, by adopting an older dog, you’re not only saving its life but you’re also helping one more dog – by making room for yet another dog in the shelter.
What To Expect After Adopting An Adult Dog
If the reasons above made you realize an adult dog is the right fit for you, you’re probably wondering about what comes next – after the adoption. How should you behave in the beginning, how big will your expenses be and what can you expect?
The First Days
Leaving the shelter will be a big change for the adopted dog. It’s a lonely and depressing place and your dog will need time to recuperate. Whether your dog has been at the shelter for a few days or for a few months, time to “bounce back” is more than necessary.
Provide with a soft and warm bed and shower your new family member with love. Don’t think that something is wrong if he or she sleeps for a couple of days straight, refuses to eat or doesn’t drink enough water. Give your dog time to adjust and show him the water and food bowl. In a couple of days, things will start becoming normal.
Be prepared to put aside a certain amount of money for the first visit to the vet. It should include:
- Senior blood panel, a thyroid test included
- Fecal test
- Rectal exam
However, many animal control facilities work with local vets and provide a free checkup 3 to 5 days after the adoption. Some vets give a discount for shelter animals, so inform yourself when you’re taking your dog for a check-up.
Tips For The First Days When Adopting An Adult Dog
In order to make the transfer from the shelter to your home as smooth as possible, check out these tips below.
- Give your dog space. As mentioned, the shock is big and your dog will need time to adjust. Let him or her sleep, explore, eat, not eat, walk around…Everyone needs time and space to adapt, especially an adopted dog.
- Get a collar and an ID tag. Getting a sturdy collar and attaching an ID tag is vital, as some adopted dogs may wander off, especially if he has been a stray before. That way, it will be easy for someone to bring your dog back to you if this were to happen.
- Don’t change its diet too much. Ask what food your new dog was eating at the shelter and start with the same food for the first period of time to prevent stomach problems. If you don’t know what food was fed to your dog, choose a quality dog food appropriate for its size and age and add some cooked, white rice for the first couple of days.
- Set up a routine. Adopted dogs need more security than other dogs, especially in the beginning. By knowing what to expect on a daily basis the adjustment will be much smoother. For example, try to take walks and give meals at approximately the same time every day.
- Set up rules you plan to keep. We understand that you want to be as gentle as possible in the beginning, but it doesn’t mean you should allow things you’re planning to forbid in the future. A change of rules will only confuse your dog and put him in a difficult position by not knowing what’s OK and what’s not. For example, if you don’t want your dog to be sitting on furniture in the future, don’t allow it the first day either.
- Take your dog to the vet. As mentioned, it’s important to do a check-up when you adopt your dog.
- Don’t have high expectations. Don’t expect everything to be perfect in the beginning or to bond immediately. Once again, give your dog time to adjust and don’t force anything. With time everything will be great.
- Be patient and loving. Do we need to say more? Nothing can calm down as much as love and understanding.
How Long Does It Take For An Older Dog To Adjust To A New Home?
The answer to this question depends on several factors. First of all, the adaptation time depends on your dog’s past experience with people, and your own household. Maybe your new dog lived with a retiree and lead a pretty slow-paced life, and you have kids which could overwhelm him in the first months? Or it might be that your dog simply was completely neglected and maltreated, and might need some time to gain your trust and become your new best friend.
Whatever it is, usually 3 months are enough for an older dog to adapt to his new environment. However, make sure you establish rules for your dog, so he knows what to expect and how to behave.
Questions To Ask Before Adopting An Adult Dog
Finally, we just wanted to remind you about a couple of useful questions you should ask before adopting a dog.
- What do you know about its history? It’s usually possible to get some basic information about the dog you’re looking at. The more, the better. However, don’t eliminate some dog if you can’t find information. If it’s a healthy and friendly dog you think will be a good choice, go for it!
- Why is this dog at a shelter? Dogs end up at shelters for different reasons. Some aren’t their fault, for example death in the family, while other such as biting someone is clearly a problem.
- Does the dog have any behavior problems? Most probably, yes. Fortunately, many can be fixed, such as pulling on the leash. However, biting people is a much bigger problem.
- Does it get along with children and other dogs? This is an information they will easily be able to tell you at the shelter. If you have children and/or other animals, don’t skip this question!
Turns out adult dogs are pretty great too! They don’t require nearly as much attention as puppies do and they can stay home alone for longer periods of time. Furthermore, there will be much less surprises with an adult dog and you’ll know pretty much what you’re “getting into”. Another great reason to adopt an adult dog is all the love and loyalty you’ll get in return for taking him or her in!
When you adopt your dog, give him or her some time do adjust to your home. Let the dog sleep and rest as much as it’s necessary.The dog has probably been through a lot and only needs time to recuperate. To put it simply – don’t rush things.
We hope that this article will make more of you adopt adult dogs – if that’s the right thing for you – and contribute to a lot of happy dogs and dog owners!