Your mom and dad want a companion pet. They’ve decided on a dog. They’ve made the decision, but the rest of you have mixed feelings. Is it the best idea? They’re stuck on if a puppy or adult dog is better. What are the pros and cons?
Puppies vs. Dogs
With a puppy, you are starting new. Other than work the breeder has done, the puppy hasn’t had training. That can be a negative as training can be difficult. At the same time, it means the puppy hasn’t been taught bad habits yet. Your parents are starting with a clean slate.
Dogs usually have been housebroken and had some basic obedience training. It’s not a guarantee though. Some owners never take the time to train their dogs. An older dog may have bad habits that your parents will need to break the dog of. Chasing cars, digging, running off, and barking at people are common bad habits.
Things to Consider
Make sure that someone is prepared to step in and take care of the dog if something happens. It’s not fun to have to think about things like this, but it is important. You don’t want to be in a stressful health emergency and also need to figure out what to do with your parents’ dog.
When coming up with a care plan in case of emergencies, factor the dog’s situation into the equation. If your dad had a stroke and was going to be in a nursing home for recovery, who takes care of the dog until he’s healed? If your mom has dementia and can no longer care for the pet, will you rehome it or will someone in the family take the dog in?
Organization Is Needed at Any Stage
If your parents do decide on a puppy, it’s going to need a lot of care and training. Be certain they’re prepared for the frequent trips outside and cleanups when there are accidents. Make sure they keep track of puppy wellness checks, spays/neuters, and medications. Elder care can help them with organization and reminders.
Adult dogs also need daily walks, meals, and attention. While many adult dogs are already housebroken and partially trained, a newly adopted dog may need time to get used to a new home and new rules.
Pets are great companions but so are caregivers. If you’re not completely certain your parents can manage a dog or puppy, talk to them about elder care companionship services. Elder care aides can stop by, keep them company, or join them on outings. Learn more by calling a specialist.