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Why adopting an older dog is actually really awesome

Puppies are cute, but older dogs have a lot to offer too

By Alanna Persaud

Since I was a child, I've always had a dog. Since my childhood dog passed away, I have always wanted another companion to keep me company. Having a dog is a true commitment, both financially and time-wise.

This past year, I finally decided I was ready for the jump and adopted the most perfect little dog, Starla. She was 3 years old (approximately) when I adopted her, and it was the best decision for me. I knew what I wanted, not a puppy, a dog big enough to run with, and a cuddler.

When I found her listing (you can still see it here), it basically sounded perfect to me. The fact that she gets along with other dogs was a huge perk because I live in such a doggy-dominated community. She was actually found in Texas as a pregnant stray, which I found out later once I got all of her papers. Either her foster home taught her well, or she already knew basic manners. The first night I brought her home, I went to feed her and she sat right down without me having to ask her. She's been a great companion and part of my little family ever since then.

By all means, I am not bashing people who specifically want puppies over older dogs, but I think a lot of older dogs get overlooked for stupid reasons. Here are some top reasons why you should look into adopting an older dog.

What you see is what you get!

You'll know their full-grown size, you (or the rescue group) can tell their temperament. I specifically wanted a dog that was big enough to run with but not too big that she would drag me down the road. So I specifically looked for a 40 lb dog and that's what I found. Puppies can be full of surprises!

Puppies are cute, but older dogs have a lot to offer too

They are adaptable and can settle-in quickly.

Of course this really depends on the dog you get, but for me, Starla was used to being in different homes. So when I took her home, she settled in really fast, found her sleeping spot and was happy to be settled down. Funny note: The first time I left her at my pet sitter's during a vacation, she settled in to my pet sitter's house and was super confused to see me when I picked her up! She thought that was just her new home now.

Puppies are cute, but older dogs have a lot to offer too

Training can be easier.

A lot of older dogs will already know a few tricks. And you can definitely teach an old dog new tricks. Starla picked up on "Stand", "Go back" and "Heel" amazingly fast.

Puppies are cute, but older dogs have a lot to offer too

Less messes, usually.

You won't have a puppy that still needs potty training, or is in her shoe-destruction stage. Typically, most of these behaviors, your older dog would have grown out of by now.

Puppies are cute, but older dogs have a lot to offer too

Adopted older pets are grateful for you.

Somehow, older pets seem to know you gave them a home when no one else would. Many new owners form a close bond very quickly with their senior dog or cat, because the pet shows them a level of attention and devotion that is unique to older adopted pets.

Do you have a pet? Did you adopt or buy from a breeder?

Alanna Persaud is the blogger behind Alanna & Company. This post was originally published on BlogHer.

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