If you’re considering becoming a pet parent, you might have questions about whether to adopt a puppy or an adult dog. This can be a big decision and many factors should be considered. To make this decision, you must consider what fits your lifestyle and how much time and energy you want to invest in your new pet.

Puppies require a lot of time, energy, and patience. During the puppy phase, you can expect to house train, teach basic commands, socialize the puppy, and deal with teething. During this time, there will likely be accidents in the house and things may even get destroyed by your curious new puppy.

First-year veterinary care is also necessary for puppies. The puppy will need wellness exams, shots and more. These can add up to an expensive first year. If you adopt a special needs pet, they may need more care depending on the situation they are coming from. A puppy’s health and size once full grown can be unpredictable.

While puppies are a lot of work, you will also have more time to bond with them and ensure they have good experiences. You can socialize them so they will grow into well-adjusted dogs.

If you are a new pet parent or if you do not have the time and energy to devote to training a puppy, you may want to consider adopting an adult dog. Adult dogs can sometimes already be house-trained and know basic commands. While some breeds will have more energy than others, they won’t have the intense energy of the puppy phase.

It’s possible when adopting an adult dog that they will only need routine annual veterinary care. However, there is a chance you will have to invest more in an adult dog’s healthcare. Dental care is particularly important for adult dogs, as periodontal disease affects four out of five dogs.

When adopting an adult dog from a shelter or rescue group, they may be able to provide health history, insight into the dog’s personality, and likely the dog is already full grown so you know what you are getting.

If you have an active lifestyle, it will be easier to fit an adult dog into that lifestyle than a puppy. Aside from all the training you will have to do with a puppy, they also need time to build bone and joint strength before engaging in any strenuous activity. Adult dogs have already done this and can join you earlier.

Adopting a puppy or an adult dog is a personal choice with many factors to consider. Whether you adopt an adult dog or a puppy, it is a great responsibility to become a pet parent, but the rewards are endless.