Has anyone ever adopted an older pet? If so, how was your experience
different from adopting a baby pet?
We have twice and both experiences were wonderful. We got a lab out of the pound that was going to be destroyed and he turned out to be the best boy. He and my husband were inseparable. Then a few years ago we got a German shepherd from the G.S. Rescue here in Montana and she is a wonderful dog.
My daughter and her husband adopted an older Mastif and he is their baby. He's a great dog too.
Lucky dogs. Glad you and your family had such a wonderful experience with all three of these dogs. The story about the lab is pretty amazing.
We adopted a mixed breed 39-lb female from a refuge and she was a fine experience. She remained with our for 11 years, when old age, arthritis and other ailments caught up to her. Our most recent addition, a 3 year-old, 20-lb rat terrier mix we adopted from a shelter last year, has learned quickly, is eager to please, and we're very happy with her.
I generalize, but an older dog will bond strongly. Puppies are heart-warmingly cute, but an older dog (past the puppy stage) will respond well to patience and good treatment.
Thank you for putting the bonding bit! I've had so many people think an older dog "won't bond to a new person." On the contrary, they're old enough to know they were rescued, and be even more devoted as a result.
Thank you Mr. Plaumbo for your informative answer. The idea of gratitude that an older dog is capable of makes it quite appealing. Sometimes older dogs seem wiser than older people.
Their instincts are more polished. There are issues or baggage you may have to get beyond, such as mistreatment they've experienced, but they learn to trust and observe carefully, looking for patterns and listening to the tone of our voices.
You raised a good point, Mr. Palumbo. Dogs are earnestly innocent and give people the benefit of the doubt, even if they had a bad experiment in the past. Dogs are amazine.
Yes, it is VERY different from adopting a baby pet. But then, I'm one of those people who thinks that anyone who gets a puppy or kitten just doesn't really know what they're in for . The last puppy I adopted was just because she had serious health issues and needed out of the shelter -- otherwise, I *always* look for dogs 4 years or older, and cats 6 years or older. These animals are mature, have personalities that are already apparent so it's not a surprise, they learn a lot faster and take less training. I've worked with hundreds of animals, and will take an older animal every chance I get. I did adopt a 2-year-old dog last year, but he was completely kennel crazy and super-athletic, so I was just the only person who could handle him. When he was coming up for his "needle date," they asked if I'd take him.
I will say that some people think older dogs will necessarily have more vet bills. Older dogs don't have puppy checkups, and only need booster shots. They might have health issues, but I also know 1- and 2-year-old dogs who've suddenly shown major health issues that they didn't as puppies. Older still outweighs younger.
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