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Please Adopt Me! Choosing to Adopt a Puppy Versus an Adult Dog


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Every year, 3.3 million dogs enter shelters. 670,000 of those dogs will not find homes, and are put to sleep. 670,000!! That is a huge number! BUT. . . this article is not about why you should adopt a pet, because you already know that you should! This article will compare and contrast adopting a puppy versus adopting an adult dog. All ages of dogs are up for adoption right now. They are waiting for you to walk up to their pen and say, “It’s time to go home”.

The Pros About Adopting a Puppy

The obvious positive element about adopting a puppy is that they. . . are. . .adorable. Who can say “no” to that face? Another awesome part about adopting a puppy from an animal shelter is that you are starting from scratch. They don’t have any bad habits yet, and you can train them with your own methods. Many shelters include shots and spaying or neutering into their adoption fee, so you don’t have to run any extra errands. A breeder might tell you that they have had their shots, but you really just never know.

The Cons About Adopting an Puppy

There are cons about puppies? This is news. Well, you will start from scratch with your training. Wait. . .that was a pro, right? Yes, but you will need to potty train, leash train, and teach your puppy all of the commands they need to know. This takes quite a bit of commitment on your end. Much like a human baby, there will be late nights, lots of dirty laundry and maybe a little crying. If you are ready for this level of commitment, training your own puppy can pay off by having a new, loyal, best friend.

Pros About Adopting an Adult Dog

In many cases, adult dogs can come potty-trained, already spayed or neutered (which can save you some worry and money), and knowing all of their cues. There is a common misconception that all adult dogs that are up for adoption are somehow flawed. This is absolutely not true. There are many adult dogs with perfect manners just waiting for a home. The gratitude that an adult dog will show you when adopting them is unlike any bond you will ever share with a dog. Now, for the sad truth about adopting an adult dog. Although the ASPCA does not have a specific number, adult dogs (especially senior dogs) are much more likely to be euthanized than puppies. When you adopt an adult dog, you are ensuring the dog’s safety and giving him/her a second chance at living a happy life.

Cons About Adopting an Adult Dog

Adopting an older dog can come with the possibility of baggage. If the dog was abused or neglected, you might have some obstacles to overcome. This will also take some commitment on your end. You might need to find an obedience class or get help from an expert (this is not a bad idea for a puppy either). Sometimes adopting an adult dog takes quite a bit of patience, but you have to remember that you have no real idea of what they have been through. Sometimes, if your dog was surrendered to the animal shelter, you will get a backstory on why your pet ended up in a shelter. Other times, if your dog was a stray, you will know nothing about where they came from or what they have been through to get here. You will just have to give your pet the benefit of the doubt and give them time to adjust.


Whether you are ready to adopt a puppy or an adult dog, you are truly saving a life. If you believe in second chances for both dogs and people, adopting a dog can be the experience of a lifetime. You will always remember the way they looked at you when you brought them home. Nothing is more rewarding in this life than helping others; especially those who are unable to help themselves.

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