Should You Adopt An Old Dog

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Should You Adopt An Old Dog

by Kirsten Frisch

Have you ever thought about adopting an older dog?

You know, sometimes it just might be the perfect dog. What about all those illnesses old dogs have? And old dog might have some issues, but usually not any more than a young puppy. If you add up the cost of veterinary visits for a young puppy and the cost of an older dog, it is almost the same. Puppies require training, toys, crates, tons of exercise (that is a time factor), and veterinary visits for shots and spaying or neutering.

An old dog will need some medical attention, of course, but most likely he will have some training, he may or may not need a crate, and he will want a bone to chew on. Most importantly, he needs your love. He will want to go on walks, but he may be just as happy hanging out while you, the web.

Lets get serious about time. If you are the average person in the average family, you work over 60 hours a week. If you have children, you spend almost all your time shuffling them from one event to the next, helping with homework, or curing a cough. When you do have free time, you might just want some "me" time. An old dog will be happy to give you your space.

Where does a puppy fit into all this? Often, they don't. Do you really have 2 hours a day to dedicate to exercising and training a puppy? Because that is the minimum requirement. And they have to be supervised ALL THE TIME. When you don't supervise a puppy they get into all sorts of trouble.

You might think you can solve all that trouble with crate training, but have you really considered how much time a puppy can spend in a crate? 8 hours? 10 hours? 12 hours? The more time a puppy spends in a crate the better his chances for becoming destructive. After all, you have to put that puppy energy somewhere.

Old dogs like to play, there is no question about that. And many old dogs grew up in families with children, other dogs, and even cats. They aren't any more fragile than a puppy. They even try to keep up with the younger generation. Unfortunately, even if those old joints keep up with the younger generation, they will probably spend the next couple of days recovering. So let them play, and then let them recover.

Finally, the sad truth about commitment. Have you thought about the length of commitment you are taking on with a puppy? 12 years? 15 years? Hopefully longer. Do you know where you will be in 15 years? Unfortunately, there are many old dogs in shelters whose owners didn't know where they would be in 15 years. They took on a puppy, but could only give them 10 years. What's an old guy to do? He worked hard for his retirement, but after 10 years the company fired him.

Consider adopting an old dog. It just might be the perfect pet.

Kirsten Frisch has worked with sled dogs for over 10 years. She has handled dogs in Alaska for mid and long distance races such as the Copper Basin 300 and Yukon Quest 1000 mile race. Her background also includes Veterinary Technician, sled dog rescue and foster, dog trainer, and webmaster. You can learn more about Kirsten dogs at and

Kirsten Frisch - EzineArticles Expert Author

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