Older vs. Younger Animals
The idea of adopting an older pet may not even occur to many families. Children naturally tend to want a cute baby animal and many parents don’t think to question this. After all the appealing picture of an adorable puppy or fluffy ball of kitten fur is hard to resist. Besides the obvious cuteness factor the advantage of having a young animal is that you get to raise and train it from scratch. But does your family have time for this lengthy process?
The Advantages of an Older PetFor busy, two profession households or families who don’t have a lot of extra time on their hands, housetraining and training a young animal may be more responsibility than they can handle. And no young animal is more work than a puppy. At the very least, an older dog will be housetrained. Housetraining a puppy is difficult if there isn’t at someone home during the day to catch a dog in the act of making a mess and instantly rectify the situation. Reprimanding a dog hours and hours after an accident occurs loses its effectiveness as the puppy doesn’t connect the act with the reprimand, even when shown the mess itself. Also, if you adopt an older, more sedate dog that is used to the family lifestyle, parents also don’t have to go through the rigorous training process of teaching exuberant young dogs not to jump up, pull at the leash, bite or any of the other number of puppyish tactics that can inadvertently cause harm to young children. Of course, if the animal has been raised with bad habits, you’ll have to do some re-training but older dogs generally have better attention spans than puppies and are fairly easy to retrain.
If your family has young children or toddlers who are still unaware of their own strength, a fragile baby animal can be easily harmed. An older animal has a stronger bone structure and a better idea of how to escape a perilous situation. Harming or even killing a pet accidentally is traumatic for all concerned and is to be avoided at all costs, so an older pet can be a good solution for families who long for a pet for their young children. Taking on an older pet from a family who has to move and is unable to care for their pet in the new living situation or from a shelter that has a good history of the animal’s background means families also know what they are getting into with their animal. It is very hard to predict what a baby animal will grow up to be like, while an older animal has a well-established personality.