You’ve decided to adopt a new canine family member, and now you’re deciding whether a puppy or full-grown adult dog is the best match. While puppies are cute little balls of fluff and boundless energy, they require a huge time investment. Adopting an adult dog comes with its own benefits and challenges, too. Enlist your San Fernando Valley veterinarian’s help as you make this important decision.
Canine maintenance – As your rambunctious puppy explores the house, she’ll pull your table runner off the hall table, shred the cat’s toys with her razor-sharp teeth, and generally create havoc throughout your home. She’ll require plenty of potty training and exercise time, and you’ll need to regularly introduce her to people and other animals. An adult dog has probably figured out the potty procedure, and has met a few other humans and dogs along the way.
Physical maturity and health – When you adopt a puppy, you’re essentially starting with a blank slate. That cute little terrier-English bulldog puppy might grow into a 50-lb. bruiser who steamrolls through the house. Your puppy’s health background might be murky, too. Even if the shelter or rescue group provided him with vet checkups, parasite treatment, and appropriate vaccinations, he might develop symptoms of illness after he settles into his new home. On the other hand, your adult dog has finished growing, and he probably comes with medical records as well.
Emotional maturity level – Your adult dog has already developed a distinct personality, while puppies’ personalities can change along with their growing bodies. Several months into your puppy adoption, your sweet, adorable puppy will turn into a rebellious teenager, and you might face behavioral problems until your pooch reaches adulthood. Your puppy will also be emotionally and mentally immature until he becomes two to three years old. Decide if you’ve got the patience to handle his adolescent outbursts, along with the time to give him additional training, socialization, and exercise until he grows up.
Finally, get feedback from friends who have adopted both puppies and adult dogs. Ask your San Fernando Valley vet for assistance, as he’s probably helped numerous pet owners who were just barely hanging on to their sanity. With a little expert advice, you can confidently welcome that adopted puppy or adult dog into your family.