Are you thinking about or planning to welcome a new dog into your home?
An important decision to make is whether you should get a puppy or an older dog. Having a dog in general requires commitment and dedication. However, there are some differences between bringing home a puppy or an older dog.
(By the way, as a side note, see our previous blog about rescues. You can find both puppies and older dogs, mixes and purebreds in a shelter, so getting a puppy (if that is what you end up deciding) doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go to a breeder.)
Here are some questions to help you make up your mind on the Puppy vs. Older Dog question:
Do you have time to raise, as well as train, a puppy?
If you bring home a puppy, it needs constant care during the initial months (at least the first six if not more). For instance, you have to take them out of your house at regular intervals and more frequently so that they can relieve themselves while they are trained to not go in the house. You will need to train your puppy and work with them on a regular basis so that commands and behavior are repeated regularly and engrained. This is a time commitment if you are to do it right. If you work from home or enjoy a very flexible work schedule, then that time is available. But if you have a hectic work schedule, busy and long days, you may want to opt for an older, house broken and trained dog.
Do you have a puppy-proof home?
Puppies (like children) are very curious. Puppies love to explore with their mouths. If your home, and more importantly you, are not ready to lose some slippers, chair legs, table legs, toilet paper, to the scratching and chewing of a puppy, you may not want to take this on. Yes, some older dogs may have this problem as well, but if they are already house broken and trained, the likelihood for destruction is much smaller.
Do you prefer to raise your dog and have them with you for their entire lives?
There is something to be said about raising a dog, your dog. Having them grow with you from puppyhood, be part of your life and you part of theirs from early on. You will know who they are, their behavior, you will in fact help shape them. And they too will know you. Yes, with older dogs, you can still have that perfect relationship, but you will not have seem them grow up, wont have those memories of the slippers you lost (see above) and more. You will also most likely have the dog less time with you in your life when opting for an older dog. With a life span from 8 – 14 years on average (depending on breed and size), every year can be a big deal.
A puppy will most likely cost you more, at least in the initial years. From the purchase, to special food, to training, and more, a puppy will have a bigger financial impact than getting an already trained house broken, older dog.
There are many more questions you can ask yourself, but these are some key ones you will want to know the answer to before deciding. Once you know your answer, stick with it. Now it is time to decide on breed, perhaps gender, and more.
And as always, we will warmly suggest looking at a rescue whatever you decide. Once you decide and have your new family member at home, contact us to learn about how we can help you with puppy care, dog walks and off-leash park adventures.