Adopting an Adult Animal
selecting a new animal friend for life, many people choose a puppy
or kitten. Young animals make great pets, but there are many mature
animals available that often go unnoticed in shelters. There are
many advantages to adopting one of these older pets who are just
as much in need of finding a loving home.
Many adult animals have been house or litter box trained in previous
homes. During an animal’s stay at the shelter, it may temporarily
forget the housebreaking rules due to the stress of being kenneled.
When such an animal is placed in a new home, it may only need some
“reminder training.” This is much easier than starting
from scratch with a young animal that has never been house trained.
Adult dogs and cats are often less destructive than puppies and
kittens. Many young animals are very curious and chew, scratch or
play with several things in the house. As the animal matures, it
tends to curtail or stop its behavior of “getting into everything.”
Physical and Behavioral Characteristics:
“What you see is what you get.” This old saying usually
applies when you adopt an older animal. Although their behavior
may change, an adult animal’s personality is generally more
stable and predictable than that of a puppy or kitten. Many of an
adult’s physical characteristics cannot be predicted from
looks when young. Puppy and kitten owners often play a guessing
game of how big their pet will grow, what it will look like and
what its personality will be like.
The veterinary expenses of a 2-5-year-old animal can be
cheaper than the expenses of a puppy or kitten. Full-grown dogs
and cats need vaccination shots only once per year. Puppies and
kittens must visit a veterinarian at least three times for a series
of vaccination shots. Adult dogs and cats have a more natural resistance
and a stronger immune system than puppies and kittens. Thus, an older
animal is less susceptible to diseases common in puppies and kittens.
Training your Dog:
The attention span of a puppy is generally shorter than that of
an adult dog. This makes teaching the household rules to a puppy
more difficult than to an adult dog. Although both puppies and adult
dogs require human interaction, a puppy needs more attention than
an adult dog. Thus, an adult generally can stay home alone for a
longer period than a puppy.
Exercising your Dog:
Full-grown dogs are immediately ready to exercise with their owners
(walking, running and hiking to name a few). Puppies need time to
grow and develop their muscles before being included in these activities.
Kittens are often regarded as the most playful animals on earth.
Although fun to watch, supervising a kitten who thinks everything
is a toy requires much time and patience. Older cats tend to be
much more sedate.