Here’s Episode 104 – Adopting An Adult Pet:
Find out why adopting an adult cat or dog, rather than a kitten or puppy, might be right for you
Click below to play.
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And check out the posts on Reasons to Adopt An Adult Cat and Reasons to Adopt An Adult Dog.
- You know what you’re getting—type of coat, personality, temperament, size, disabilities, energy level, if they’re good with children, cats, or other dogs. The rescue organization can usually tell you a lot more about an adult dog than a puppy.
- Adult dogs have bigger bladders and more control over bowels—they have mature bodies so they can hold it longer and they’re more likely to already be house trained. Puppies need to have consistent schedules for feeding, watering, and being let out to go potty. A two month old puppy will probably need to go out every 2-3 hours around the clock! This is a big time commitment.
- Puppies are chewers—they need to chew and will chew anything–your hands/feet/arms, shoes, furniture, baseboards, plastic watering cans, clothes, electric cords, carpet. Mature dogs already have their adult teeth and are easily taught to chew appropriate treats.
- Puppies are only little for a short time, but their puppy problems last months longer.
- Adult dogs are still playful and funny—puppies have a ton of energy and need lots of play time, which may not always be convenient.
- Puppies need constant supervision—they will try to eat everything, they can easily fall off furniture or beds, they will try to dig holes inside and out, they lack wisdom in dealing with cats and other pets.
- Adult dogs are usually already spayed or neutered and have had all their vaccines.
- Adult dogs are more likely to already have some training either from the rescue organization or from their previous owners. Many rescue groups work on training adult dogs since they’re usually in the shelter longer, it makes them more attractive to potential adopters, and because adult dogs can be easier to train due to longer attention spans.
- Puppies and children are not always a good match—puppies can be more easily injured by children and rambunctious puppies are more likely to hurt or scare children. Adult dogs should still be treated with care and children should always be supervised with any animals.
- Puppies are needy—dogs are very social animals and puppies are used to being with their litter mates. Those days and especially nights alone can be very hard for puppies. Puppies should not be left alone for long periods of time. Adult dogs need companionship too, but they can tolerate time alone better and they sleep through the night.
- Adult dogs are ready to be your companion now—you don’t have to wait for them to grow up to go to the dog park, to go on hikes, to go jogging, to travel.
- Do you already have a dog or cat that needs a companion? An adult dog that is good with other animals is a better choice than an energetic, overly exuberant puppy.
- A puppy’s health may be more fragile—their immune system may not be as well developed and that means more trips to the veterinarian.
- Adult dogs have years of life ahead of them—the oldest dog on record, Bluey the Australian Cattle Dog, was almost 29 1/2 yrs. old. and all but the largest breeds average over 10 years. And in the US and UK, mixed breed dogs average 13.2 yrs.
- Dogs can be very adaptable if you take the time to introduce them to new things and train them. Saffron didn’t know how to walk up stairs or anything about life as an indoor dog, but she learned very quickly. And I firmly believe any healthy dog can be house trained. My parent’s Yorkshire Terrier, CoCo, was 6 yrs. old and not house trained when they got her. It took consistent work, but she’s house trained now.
- Studies have shown most owner-surrendered dogs are in shelters due to issues in the owner’s life, not due to behavior problems. Most dogs surrendered due to behavior problems are only guilty of behaving like a dog without any training. In fact, shelters are full of dogs under a year old who no longer look like a puppy, but still have annoying puppy behaviors so their owners have lost patience.
- Adult dogs are much less likely to be adopted than wiggly, cute puppies. Adopting an adult dog really means saving a life.
Showing an adult dog the joys of a happy dog’s life—things they may never have experienced before—is so rewarding. Imagine the joy of giving your new adult dog her first toy, showing him his first comfy bed, or taking her to her first off-leash park. There’s nothing like it!
Please keep those wonderful adult dogs in mind next time you adopt!
You know what your getting—hair length, personality, temperament, disabilities, if they like dogs, etc.
Adult cats tend to have excellent litter box manners where kittens may not be as good.
Adult cats are fastidious groomers—kittens, not so much.
A kitten’s health can be more fragile—immune systems may not be well developed and that means more trips to the veterinarian.
Kittens get into a lot of trouble and need lots of supervision—they will often eat anything, they knock things over, they fall, they find nooks and crannies to explore and get stuck in, etc.
Kittens bite and chew—they bite fingers, noses, earlobes, toes, arms, chins, electrical cords, blinds cords, shoelaces, plants, etc.
Kittens are needy—cats are social animals and kittens are used to being with their litter mates. It can be a frightening to be separated from their litter and then left alone all day long while you’re at work. An adult cat will still miss you, but won’t be as needy.
Do you already have an adult cat that needs a companion? Another adult cat is probably a less stressful addition than a frenetic, crazy kitten.
Adult cats are usually already spayed or neutered and have had all their vaccines.
Adult cats have stable digestive tracts—kittens are much more likely to get diarrhea.
Kittens are more easily hurt by small children—an adult cat should still be treated with care and children should be supervised with any animals, but an adult cat is better able to take care of itself.
Kittens are young for only a short time.
Adult cats are still very playful—kittens, on the other hand, have a ton of energy, need to play a lot and their timing may not be so convenient when you’re trying to sleep.
Adult cats are available for adoption year round—in areas where winters are cold and the days are short, kittens are born during “kitten season” and are mainly available from June through October.
Cats easily live into their late Teens now—an adult cat still has many years of happy life left. In fact, many “adult” cats at shelters are just last year’s kittens.
Adult cats are rarely at the shelter because there’s anything wrong with them—their human companion has died or moved to a nursing home, someone in the house developed an allergy, their owners got tired of them, they got lost and weren’t claimed.
Adult cats are much less likely to be adopted, while kittens are almost always quickly adopted.
In the past, we’ve always adopted kittens or young cats, but I really hope to be able to adopt an adult cat the next time we add to our family. Kittens are fun, but taking care of them well is a lot of work and every kitten we’ve adopted has had at least one health scare. I’d love to adopt a sturdy, adult cat with a known personality.
Please keep those sweet adult cats in mind next time you adopt!