Choosing a Puppy or an Older Dog?

When you decide to get a pet for your family, one great question comes to mind. Should you purchase a puppy or an older dog?

It is no surprise that puppies and adult dogs have different levels of needs and create different demands on their owners. Before bringing a dog into your home, it is important to weight the differences to determine which option is better for your family. A dog is a companion that could easily be with you for ten or more years, so making an informed decision is absolutely vital.

Just like small children, puppies require constant care and watching. They require housebreaking, they chew, they whine at odd hours of the night, and they need constant reprimand in order to develop good habits later in life. However, unlike an adult dog, you can train a puppy around your family’s needs, habits, and schedule. If you have children, a puppy can also grow up learning to be tolerant and unafraid of children and loud situations. By getting a puppy, you also have a higher level of control over your dog’s socialization. The optimum time to socialize your new puppy to his or her environment is between three weeks and three months of age, thus your dog will quickly become accustomed to your lifestyle and activities.

There are many older dogs looking for homes in shelters across the country. While some families opt for an older dog in order to skip the housebreaking and training stage of owning a dog, many are not prepared for what they get when they actually bring the pet home. Many dogs are in shelters for behavior issues, health problems, and other unknown reasons that are not apparent until the pet has been with a new owner for a few weeks. When adopting an older dog, it is important to determine as much of the pet’s history as possible, including why the former owners cited giving him or her up for adoption in the first place. However, an older dog may be perfect for your home with a little patience, time, and extra care.

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Anytime you bring a new pet into a household, there is some adaptation of both you and the dog that will take place. While there are differences between that of a puppy and an older dog, with appropriate patience and care your pet can easily transition into the life of you and your family.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. Should you think that your pet needs medical attention, please contact your local veterinarian.  
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