Tuesday 15 April 2014

Puppies or Older Dogs: Which choice is best for your Family?

When thinking about getting a dog for your family, you’ve no doubt looked into and thought about what sort of breed and size you’d like, and the impacts things like that will have on your family. Dogs make a great addition to a household but it is important to get the right one for your family and lifestyle.

When choosing a particular one, it’s also well worth thinking about which aged dog to go for as this will have a big impact on their wants and needs. When getting a new pet of any variety, it can seem like the obvious choice to automatically go for a newborn or young one. We’ve looked into the advantages and disadvantages of each side.

Think about the level of commitment you are able to offer in terms of training.
Training and housebreaking a puppy is a long and arduous process that will require total commitment and cooperation from all family members. If you’ve never had a dog before this can be exceptionally daunting, especially as it isn’t the easiest of tasks. However, if you do like the idea of your puppy growing up with your children, it can of course easily be done with the right know-how. Research training methods for your puppy for a great start to the journey.

Consider your family’s personality.
If your children are quiet and (mostly!) of a calm nature, a boisterous little puppy bouncing around the place may night be a great fit. On the other hand, they can create the ideal outlet for the children to come out of themselves and gain confidence. If your family lifestyle is very busy and hectic, an older dog may fit in better with this as they generally can be happy enough on one walk a day, and will be content to just sit next to you on the sofa on the evenings, unlike puppies that are constantly desperate for attention.

Knowing what you are in for.
The idea of gaining a true, accurate insight into what your puppy will be like when they’re older purely by researching their breed is controversial. Arguably, the most efficient way to get an idea of this is to visit their parents, if possible. Puppies can find it very easy to get into bad habits and not so easy to get out of them, whereas older dogs from good sources like rescue shelters are more likely to have a gentler temperament. Thinking about health problems that can affect dogs at certain life stages is a good plan too, like worms for example, which are common and can be significantly more problematic for puppies than adult dogs. You can however treat things like worms fairly easily with products like Drontal worming from Vet Medic, and can gain more information on that and other health problems on their website. 

Making a real difference to a life.
Making a difference to a dog’s life from the very beginning – as a puppy – is a fantastic, rewarding experience for all involved. However, the number of puppies in rescue shelters is significantly lower than the number of older dogs who tend to get ignored. You can make a real difference to this by adopting an older dog, though adopting any aged dog from a shelter will be life changing.

*  In collaboration with Vet Medic * 

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