With rescue centers full to overflowing with unwanted dogs, it can seem selfish buying a new puppy when there’re so many deserving characters just waiting for a home. With a 1001 things to consider when choosing your next best friend, it can be heartbreaking and confusing deliberating over that one question. Rescue dog or puppy?
There are advantages to both, and the choice you make is a reflection on your lifestyle and the type of commitment you can make. An older dog might not need as much training as a puppy and is likely to have already been vaccinated and ssterilized so there is a chance to save on these initial expenses. Older dogs also don’t need as much sleep as puppies and can walk much further distances, so if you have children or an active lifestyle, they are more likely to fit in straight away.
Of course, you will only get an older dog because another family no longer want it. Rehoming a friend’s dog, that you already know and who already knows you, is the perfect situation. You will know the level of training it has undergone so far, it’s temperament and why your friends can’t keep it anymore. If they are moving away or can’t afford to keep the dog, then taking him on is a fantastic way to secure yourself a loving, well trained pooch.
The other choice for selection an older dog is to rehome an animal from a rescue home or pound. Dog’s from rescue homes can be a bit hit and miss. You have no idea of the type of background the animal has, it’s temperament and the amount of training it has undertaken. You also don’t know why someone has chosen to give him up, merely that they have. Of course, people give up dogs for all kinds of reasons, and the fact that they need re-homing might not be a reflection on the animal itself. If the previous owner has died, moved overseas or can no longer afford to keep the dog, then chances are you will hit the jackpot and end up with a ready-made and brilliant family pet.
On the other hand, some of these dogs will have been mistreated or given up due to flaws in their character. Spending a few hours with a dog in a rescue home such as K9 Stud, is no guarantee of how well it will behave around children, your home or other pets. For this reason, you need to ensure you have the time to invest in rehabilitating a rescue dog before you adopt one. Even if you think your new dog is perfect, he might have some hidden demons that need dealing with, and you need to be able to tackle them.
A puppy has the advantage of a clean slate. He knows what you teach him and hasn’t been subjected to any abuse. He is also a baby who will learn through trial and error so make sure you are prepared to deal with that error. If you have just finished an expensive home remodel or have very young children, now might not be the best time to get a puppy. Even the easiest of puppies require a significant investment in time and are liable to chew the odd shoe, door or sofa corner, regardless of how much it cost.
Whether you opt for an adult or adolescent dog or a puppy, you need to be aware of just what a commitment it is. This animal is likely to live at least ten years and will be dependent on you for all aspects of his health and welfare. You need to be confident that you can afford him for the length of his life, give him the time that he needs and a lifestyle that is conducive to both his happiness and yours. If you can provide these things then you will be rewarded with unwavering love and devotion, regardless of whether you re-homed him or adopted him as a puppy.