You finally got through escrow on a property with a nice, big yard and it is time to start looking for the animal that will turn your house into a happy home. Even though you don’t think you have time for a new puppy or kitten, you balk at the idea of buying an older pet. After all, what if you end up with a dog like the one your neighbors have? They never bothered to train it, so now it has a bad habit of barking all night and keeping half the neighborhood awake. The idea of training a full grown dog embedded with bad behavior simply does not sound appealing. You think that adopting an older pet will bring nothing but problems, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Adopting an older pet can have huge benefits. If you’re like most adults, you work at least part of the time, if not full time. Guess what? Puppies and kittens need round-the-clock attention. That’s right, they’re babies. And you know what happens if you leave a puppy in the house alone all day…you come home to a Turner and Hooch moment (couch cushions shredded, slobber in your shoes, and all kinds of unfortunate “accidents”). Babies don’t like to be left alone! And forget about getting them spayed or neutered. That’s when you really have to keep an eye on them 24/7. Yes, they will lick until they remove the stitches.
Older pets, on the other hand, have most likely been fixed (if not, the shelter will do it when they come in) and they are far less rambunctious than the younger variety. Most of them have already been housebroken or box-trained, at the very least, and many have been trained in a number of other areas, from staying off the furniture to following common commands. In addition, they are probably used to living with people and if they have any problems (kids, other pets, food possessiveness), the shelter can disclose them up front. With a younger pet, you never really know what kind of personality you’ll get.
And if the thought of a helpless, wide-eyed little puppy or kitten getting euthanized is keeping you up at night, you really needn’t worry. Babies have no problem getting adopted. People take one look at the fuzzy little furballs and snap them right up. Older pets, on the other hand, need your help! With home foreclosures on the rise, many families have no choice but to leave their pets at the pound. These are the animals that will inevitably face being put to sleep as shelters suffer an increase in tenancy and a decrease in funding. You have the power to give these worthy animals a second chance at life and, in the process, gain a companion that compliments your lifestyle.