In anticipation of Z Living's upcoming original show Finding Fido, where underwater dog photographer (yes, that's right) and behaviorist Seth Casteel hosts plays matchmaker each week between a person and a pooch, we're collecting and telling a series of heart-warming pet stories.
Follow along and check back often - we'll have plenty to share!
When planning for a puppy, it’s easy to envision him years from now galloping beside you as you take your daily morning run – the sun breaking through the clouds as you inhale the cool air, your faithful companion at your side.
One problem – what if your puppy grows up to be a couch potato? Or a canine dreamer that randomly chases squirrels without a care for your frantic shouts?
Ignore the mistaken belief that adult dogs and cats are aggressive or have behavior problems. Many adult pets are surrendered because their owners’ lives have changed or the cute puppy or kitten grew up to be something different from imagined.
Also on Z Living: National Dog Day: How You Can Help Dogs In Need
"One of the most important reasons to adopt an adult dog is that you see what you get,” said Jamie Holeman of Pasadena (Calif.) Humane Society.
“There are no surprises in terms of size or personality. We have so many people come into the shelter and want a specific size (or energy level) of dog. You can guess how large puppies are going to be when they are adults, but there’s no way to know for sure.”
Before you adopt a puppy, kitten or other baby animal, consider these animal experts reasons you should consider an adult.
4 Reasons Why An Adult Dog Might Be Just Right For Your Lifestyle
1. Adults won’t nibble away at your budget
Love shouldn't have a price tag, but the reality is that puppies and kittens require more expensive foods, medical care and training than do adults.
“There are just less up-front investments for an adult dog or cat,” said Michelle Serocki, founder of Brew City Bully Club, Milwaukee. “And many times adoption fees [for adults] are lower or waved because they don’t need to be spayed or neutered, inoculated or microchipped.”
2. You can teach an old dog new tricks
An adult dog or cat can be retrained often more easily than their younger, short-attention span counterparts.
And most times an adult dog or cat already have the big issues down. Puppies nibble on people, have little bladder control and create damage without concern for cost or sentimentality.
“Do you really want a puppy that will stain your floors with urine? That will wake you up in the middle of the night?” asked Serocki. “I love puppies, they are adorable, but they are also a lot of work, especially if you have children or grandchildren.”
3. There’s no surprise about size
Yes, veterinarians and animal specialists can guess how large a puppy will be when it is fully grown, but there’s no guarantee.
It’s not unheard of for a puppy that everyone believes will be a miniature adult turn into a 50-plus pound bruiser, said Sheryl Green of Hearts Alive Village, Las Vegas.
You can find a personality to match your own.
“The number one thing to consider is what does my life look like now,” said Green. “If you are gone 12 hours a day and then come home and sit on the couch, we aren’t going to recommend you get a Doberman.”
And no matter how adorable a Bichon Frise, it’s not going to be a good companion for your long, daily run. “There’s a reason animals are returned,” she said, “The owners have something in mind when they choose the pet and it doesn’t [materialize].”
4. An adult dog is grateful to its new owners
Bailey Deacon, director of communications, Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS) tells of one recent case involving a 14-year dog named Bear.
The mixed breed sat by its deceased owner for days – not even moving for food or water – until emergency responders arrived. Thanks to Deacon’s social media pleas, Bear found a home with a young couple in nearby Catonsville, Maryland.
“Adult and seniors pets are so thankful and grateful when they are adopted,” said Deacon. “You can see it in their eyes. You are their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow."
Tell us YOUR heartwarming dog story!
We're starting a new series called How I Found My Fido
and would love to hear how you found your dog. Click here to submit your story.
Watch on Z Living: Finding Fido,
where photographer and animal behaviorist Seth Casteel
hosts plays matchmaker each week between a person and a pooch. Finding Fido
will premiere on Z Living in January 2017.