Are you looking to adopt your first pet or a new companion for your family? If so, you’ve probably scoured the internet for pet breeders and shelters, looking to find the perfect dog. The obvious choice would be to get a new puppy from a pet store. But have you considered getting a senior dog instead?
When deciding on what pet you should get, there are often more factors you should consider than you probably expect — from your lifestyle and family life to your economic status and even home noise levels.
Getting a puppy
For puppies, they do well with children, since children and puppies usually have the same amount of energy. The bond that they share is likely to be strong since they’re technically growing up together.
A large space is beneficial for puppies since they often need open spaces where they can run, jump and play freely. In addition, puppies require extensive training, like potty, leash and behavior training, so they would need several hours of undivided attention every day.
Getting senior dogs
Senior dogs, on the other hand, are in their golden years. They’re typically more laid-back and tend to prefer staying indoors and relaxing in their own private nook. Their personalities are also easier to predict since they’re already fully grown and you get an idea right away of the kind of training they’ve had and how they’re likely to behave.
Lastly and most importantly, adopting senior dogs will give you the opportunity to give these often abandoned pets a loving and caring home.
Remember though, before you consider adopting a pet, be it a puppy, a senior dog, a cat or any type of companion animal, you should be 100% sure and committed. Owning a pet is a huge responsibility, emotionally and financially.
Make sure you have enough resources to care responsibly for these animals. You should build a budget considering veterinary services, pet health insurance, vaccinations, grooming, and emergencies. Luckily, some pet health insurance companies make it affordable to protect your dog in case of an accident or illness.
Bivvy’s pet health insurance covers any dog, regardless of breed or age, for only $15 per month. This ensures your dog remains happy and healthy. Before you welcome a new canine into your home, ensure you are ready to engage with all the duties that becoming a dog parent entails. Some of the most important ones are listed below:
Provide their basic needs
Investing in either senior dog or puppy essentials is the bare minimum you could ever provide a new pet. If you’re planning to adopt, first make sure that you’ll be able to provide their basic needs consistently, and never make them compromise from lack of food and shelter. If you can afford to support them during their entire lifetime, proceed to the next consideration.
Support them emotionally
The best thing about adopting a dog is you’ll make the best friend of your life. Dogs love their owners unconditionally, and as they deserve overflowing love and support, it’s your responsibility to give back to them emotionally. If you can’t give your time, effort, and physical touch to a dog from time to time, then it’s time to reconsider.
Can you afford veterinary services?
Before adopting a puppy or senior dog, your chosen organization will provide the pet’s health records, whether they’re already spayed or neutered, vaccinations, ongoing medications, age, and the like. Veterinary consultations are a must for every dog, so you’ll have to prepare financially for this. If your dog has special health needs, you’re more likely to spend more for their maintenance and treatment.
3 Things to Remember When Adopting
If you’ve decided to adopt either a senior dog or a puppy, there are a few reminders you should heed to make sure you’ll be giving them the best support possible:
Adopt from a reputable & ethical breeding community
Unfortunately, puppy mills are still in operation today, exposing hundreds of dogs to inhumane conditions and abusive environments. Not only that but adopting a puppy from these conditions also heightens their risk of contracting diseases even before you’re able to take them home.
When adopting a new puppy, remember to look for registered breeders who are dedicated to giving pets the highest quality of life possible. Ethical breeders uphold strict guidelines and a high level of responsibility to make sure every puppy or kitten is bred and adopted into a loving and caring community.
They also do not distinguish between purebreds and mixed breeds — believing that every puppy, regardless of pedigree, deserves a loving home. So if you’re looking for a schnauzer, a golden retriever, a mix, or any type of dog, always look for trustworthy breeders.
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Look for your future animal companion
Today, more and more senior dogs are being surrendered to dog sanctuaries — maybe because their elderly owners wouldn’t be able to take care of them anymore or because owners want to trade them in for puppies.
In some shelters, senior dogs are left unadopted and are euthanized to make room for other pets being surrendered. If you’re planning on getting a senior dog, consider looking for one in the nearest shelter to give them a chance at living out their golden years.
Be patient and gentle
While puppies and senior dogs differ in age, they are often similar in how they both need attention and patience. For puppies, their high energy and need for training may require a great deal of patience since they’re still forming their personalities as well as their relationship with you.
As for senior dogs, while they’re more mature and may require less training, this doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be making the occasional mistake. Address errors gently and patiently to make sure that you’re not causing any undue stress.
Whichever you decide on, a dog makes a wonderful companion and will likely be an incredibly rewarding experience for you and your family.