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Owning an adult dog
"Adult dogs tend to be calmer, more relaxed, with a better-established routine and personality"

Adult Dog Adoption

A new puppy may be super-cute, but getting an adult dog is not only a wiser choice for some owners, but it gives a pet a second chance at happiness

Give a dog a home

It’s a sad fact that thousands of mature dogs are abandoned or put up for re-homing in Australia every year. Adopting an adult dog from a reputable canine charity or shelter can be hugely rewarding, as well as giving a second chance to a deserving pet to be welcomed into a loving home. Breeders may also look to sell adults that are no longer being used for breeding or showing.

The advantages of re-homing an adult dog

  • Adult dogs tend to be calmer, more relaxed, with a better-established routine and personality. They should have burnt through all that excess puppy energy and be ready to settle down.  
  • In most cases an adult dog will be fully house trained and understand basic commands. Although some degree of retraining may be necessary as they get used to their new surroundings, the hard work has usually already been done.  
  • A reputable organisation such as Animal Welfare League Australia will ensure that your dog has had a thorough medical check and received any treatment necessary (vaccinations, worming and often desexing).  
  • In many cases, the dog's history will be known, so the shelter can help you select a pet that will suit your home and lifestyle. The centre may also know if the dog is good with children, other dogs or cats. In general, rehoming organisations will be as anxious as you are to make the right match, and will never try to offload a problem animal.  
  • Leading charities can offer valuable support and advice throughout your dog’s life.  
  • With so many dogs available for rehoming, you’re almost certain to find the dog that’s just right for you, from purebred to mongrel.
  • And of course, you’ll have the enormous satisfaction of knowing that you’ve been responsible for giving your dog a second chance.  

Cautionary tails

Older dogs rehomed through a reputable organisation make wonderful pets, but there are a few points to remember:

  • Be honest and comprehensive when describing your lifestyle and living arrangements to the organisation. A dog that enjoys a lot of exercise will always be unhappy if your lifestyle can’t accommodate his needs.  
  • Older dogs can be set in their ways. It may take time for an adult to settle in and mould you to their way of life.  
  • Sometimes a dog’s full history may not be known, especially if abandoned. Make sure your dog has a complete check-up before rehoming – and remember that if a dog has been badly treated, he or she may carry some emotional baggage and will need patience to re-establish trust.  
  • If you’re already a dog owner, it’s worth noting that introducing a new adult dog to a resident pet can cause more friction than introducing a puppy.  
  • If you’re rehoming a pedigree animal from a breeder, remember that they have probably been used for breeding or showing and may have developed particular behaviour patterns.  

Where to adopt your dog

There are innumerable rehoming organisations Australia-wide, from national charities to local shelters and kennels. You’ll find plenty of options online or in your telephone directory.

To help you make your choice, arrange to visit the centre, check out their facilities and the general condition of the animals under care. You will also be expected to provide details about your home and lifestyle, and may even be asked to bring in existing pets as proof of responsible pet ownership.

We recommend contacting Animal Welfare League Australia or one of the following contact points:

The RSPCA

The Lost Dogs Home

Pet Rescue

About the Purina PetCare Advice Centre

PetCare Advice Centre The Purina PetCare Advice Centre brings together a team with in-depth knowledge, experience and special interests with the skills to advise about health and nutrition, behaviour, training, socialisation, as well as basic first aid for your cat or dog. Our team of dedicated pet lovers can also provide information about Purina products and services to help you give your pet the best possible care. If you've got a question about any aspect of pet care, then ask the Purina PetCare Advice team.

Last updated: 24 April 2015 at 11:28 AM
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