10. In a Word–Housebroken. With most family members gone during the work week for 8 hours or more, housetraining a puppy and its small bladder can take awhile. Puppies need a consistent schedule with frequent opportunities to eliminate where you want them to.
9. Intact Underwear. With a chewy puppy, you can count on at least 10 mismatched pairs of socks and a variety of unmentionables rendered to the “rag bag” before he cuts every tooth. An older dog can usually have the run of the house without destroying it.
8. A Good Night’s Sleep. Forget the alarm clocks and hot water bottles, a puppy can be very demanding at 2am and 4am and 6am. He misses his littermates, and that stuffed animal will not make a puppy pile with him.
7. Finish the Newspaper. With a puppy running amok in your house, do you think you will be able to relax when you get home from work?
6. Easier Vet Trips. Those puppies need their series of puppy shots and fecals, then their rabies shot, then a trip to be altered, maybe an emergency trip or two if they’ve chewed something dangerous. Those puppy visits can add up (on top of what you paid for the dog!). Your donation to the rescue when adopting an older pup should get you a dog with all shots current, already altered, heartworm negative and on preventative at the minimum.
5. What You See Is What You Get. How big will that puppy be? What kind of temperament will he have? Will he be easily trained? Will his personality be what you were hoping for? How active will he be? When adopting an older dog from a rescue, all of those questions are easily answered.
4. Unscarred Children (and Adults). When the puppy isn’t teething on your possessions, he will be teething on your children and you. Most older dogs have “been there, done that, moved on.”
3. Matchmaker Make Me a Match. Puppy love is often no more than an attachment to a look or a color. It is not much of a basis on which to make a decision that will hopefully last 15+ years. Pet mismatches are one of the top reasons rescues get “give-up” phone calls. Good rescues do extensive evaluating of both their dogs and their applicants to be sure that both dog and family will be happy with each other until death do them part.
2. Instant Companion. With an older dog, you automatically have a buddy that can go everywhere and do everything with you NOW.
1. Bond–Rescue Dog Bond. Dogs who have been uprooted from their happy homes or have not had the best start in life are more likely to bond very completely and deeply with their new people. Those who have lost their families through death, divorce or lifestyle change go through a terrible mourning process. But once attached to a new loving family, they seem to want to please as much as possible to make sure they are never homeless again.
Unfortunately, many folks think dogs that end up in rescue are all genetically and behaviorally inferior. But it is not uncommon for Rescue to get $500 dogs that have either outlived their usefulness or their novelty with impulsive pet guardians who considered them a possession rather than a friend or family member, or simply did not really consider the time, effort and expense needed to be a dog caretaker.
Choosing a rescue dog over a purchased pup will not solve the pet overpopulation problem (only responsible pet guardians and breeders can do that), but it does give many of them a chance they otherwise would not have. But beyond doing a good deed, adopting a rescue dog can be the best decision and addition to the family you ever made.
Rescue a dog and get a devoted friend for life!
Excerpts from “Why Adopt”, written by Mary Clark at LABRADOR RETRIEVER RESCUE, INC. Permission has been granted to freely reprint and distribute this document as long as LRR, Inc at www.lrr.org is credited.