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What is the Best Age to Adopt a Dog?

If you’re considering getting a dog for your family, you’re likely considering a lot of different factors. You have to decide what breed or mixed breed to get, whether to get a male or female, and even what the dog’s age should be! What is the best age to adopt a dog?

Going even further, there are also benefits to adopting a senior dog.

Review the info below to help you make a more informed decision for your family!

What is the Best Age to Adopt a Dog?

The Pros and Cons of Puppies, Adult Dogs, and Senior Dogs

Perhaps you are looking for a cute puppy or maybe you want to skip the puppy antics for an older more mature dog.

There are so many benefits to puppies, adults, and even seniors and there is sure to be a perfect match for you and your family. 

Consider Your Time and Lifestyle Before Making a Decision

When it comes to finding the right pet, your time available and lifestyle should be considered.

Dogs from younger age groups can be demanding when it comes to attention and support from their owners, as this is an important period for them when they’re building habits.

If you have a nine-to-five job or lead a very fast-paced life then adopting young puppies might not be the best idea for you as caring for them takes time and energy.

In this case, older dogs that don’t have as high energy levels may be a better option.

The point is to always remember that adopting a pet requires time and attention so take some time to evaluate if this kind of commitment suits you before making any decisions.

What is the best age to adopt a dog?

Adopting a Puppy

It seems like every little kid who wants a dog will beg for a puppy. And, who can resist puppy breath?!

This is likely because puppies are cute and childlike.

But you should know that puppies don’t stay puppies for long. By the end of their first year, most puppies have grown into dogs.

Also, puppies are a handful. They have a lot of dangerous curiosity.

Puppies will dig, chew, and sniff all sorts of things, including objects, foods, and animals that may harm them.

Puppies need nearly constant monitoring, or else you could find yourself rushing your unlucky pup to the emergency vet!

Oh! Have we mentioned potty Training? You will need to make sure you have the time to properly potty train your puppy.

What is the Best Age to Adopt a Dog

However, puppies are much easier to train than adult dogs. And their curiosity and lack of experience make it easy to socialize them and get them used to any unique sounds or experiences that are a part of your environment.

Of course, the flip side of this is that if you don’t effectively socialize and train your puppy you could wind up with a nervous, unruly dog (possibly a dangerous combination).

Also, you should pay extra attention to your puppy’s mental stimulation and play more brain training games which can effectively increase his intelligence.

And do know that a “puppy” is a dog that’s at least 8 weeks old? 

The best age to adopt a dog is ALWAYS beyond 8 weeks old.

Those first 8 weeks are a critical time in a puppy’s development stage, and they need to be with their mother and littermates during that time.

During the first 8 weeks, a dog learns how to interact with other animals and people.

Playing and interacting with their siblings and mother teaches them how to read and send social signals, how to keep from biting and hurting others, how to respect dominance and other such critical dog skills.

What is the Best Age to Adopt a Dog

Adopting an Adult Dog

A lot of dogs in the adult category will get passed by for puppies at shelters. This is a shame as adulthood could be the best age to adopt a dog at!

Adult dogs have already lived with people before, so they usually already know how to behave.

They’re housebroken, know how to treat people, are used to common sounds, and may even have basic training (sit, stay, come).

They’re also not as crazily curious and energetic as puppies, so they can be easier to handle.

However, there are some potential cons to adopting an adult dog.

First of all, you may not know what the dog’s life was like before it was taken in by the pound, shelter, or rescue that you found it in.

It could have been abused or poorly socialized. As a result, there may be some behavioral or problematic behaviors you will need to work through.

What is the Best Age to Adopt a Dog

Adopting a Senior Dog

People often seem to forget about homeless senior dogs. Animal shelters are full of them!

Just because you may not have as much time to enjoy with a senior dog shouldn’t stop you from adopting it!

Senior dogs are often just as willing to play as younger dogs, and they’re definitely as loving! They’re just a little mellower.

Besides, you don’t know how long a dog will live. A dog named Bluey lived to be 29 years old!

The only possible cons to adopting an older dog are health concerns, but many dogs live through their later years without a single health issue!

In conclusion

The best age to adopt a dog is relative to what you’re looking for.

You may think a puppy is a cute bundle of fur and can be trained easily, but remember they require a lot of attention and may be difficult to monitor.

Adult dogs have fewer behavioral issues than puppies, and senior dogs may need less energy but still have plenty of love!

Old age could be the best age to adopt a dog for your family!

What age would you prefer to adopt a dog?

Anita C

Wednesday 2nd of March 2022

I think any age is an adoptable age. As long as you are willing to put in the time to train and love an animal.


Tuesday 1st of January 2019

I am looking to adopt a three year old boy dog that is at a local rescue I already have four dogs one is 15 one 6 and two are 2. What would you recommend I do before adopting this dog?


Thursday 5th of March 2020

Hi Cailan,

You can adopt beagles puppies at BREW is dedicated to rescuing and re-homing beagles. The main focus is beagles in shelters that are faced with imminent euthanasia. BREW works with shelters and animal control facilities throughout the Mid-Atlantic area.


Tuesday 20th of March 2018

I am so glade I got to read this info Ty for all now I can make a better desition

Brandi Dawn

Sunday 5th of March 2017

This is very interesting. I completely agree with everything. I adopted my dog at aprox 18 months old. Fortunately he is adjusting well. Im not too sure about his past other than there was some neglect so he does have some separation anxiety. Other than that, I have gotten very lucky.

Quincy W.

Thursday 2nd of June 2016

If I could just adopt every dogs that needs a forever home, I would regardless of the age. Dogs are the most loyal pets you could have and whatever you, they'll just stay loyal to you if you know how to treat them well.

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