If only I had a dime for every time I’ve recommended someone adopt a pet and had them respond, “I don’t want an old dog” or my personal favorite, “I don’t want a dog with so many issues”. It’s hard not to immediately roll my eyes and sigh but I usually fight the impulse and try to rationally explain why older dogs are actually pretty great!
My husband and I have two dogs – both adopted. One was six months old when we adopted her from a rescue group (yes, rescue groups have young dogs too!) and the other was 3 years old. The 3 year old was so much more predictable! I knew when we adopted her what her personality was like, how big she was going to be, what kind of needs she had and what family would be best for her. We were able to adopt a dog that perfectly fit our lifestyle, wants and needs.
Our 6 month old adoption has proved to be a shocker! “On the small side” (50 lbs then) has turned into 130 lbs. Small side, yeah right. And her “calm nature” developed into a dog that calling her a spaz would be an understatement. We had no idea what we were getting with her and though we adore her and love her as a member of our family, it’s taken a lot more work than when we adopted our established pet at 3 years old.
Older dogs are great for another reason – they make less messes! There is no potty training, no discussion of what a chew toy consists of, no nightly howling in the crate or 3 am bathroom breaks. There is just a laid back dog who isn’t tempted to chew through the contents of your house and requires only a bit of adaptation to become a part of your family.
Rescue groups have a variety of animals. People give them up for countless reasons – for some people, a puppy is a decision that requires no more thought than where to eat dinner that night and they quickly find out that dogs are a bit more intensive. Other people move, “can’t take their dog”, don’t want to go to training, don’t have enough time, get a new job, experience a family change, like have a baby and countless other reasons. None of these reasons have anything to do with a dog or the issues they may have. They are all human issues. When you’re looking at adding a pet to your family, consider adopting. Rescue groups spend lots of times with their furry orphans and can help you find the perfect match.