Do you question why animals of a certain age are in a rescue centre? Do you think that they may have behavioural problems and you aren't prepared to take on that responsibility? Of course each animal has their own history as do we, but that's not to say an older animal shouldn't be given a lovely retirement life with you. There are so many cases of older dogs ending up in rescue centres because their previous owner has passed away or have had to relocate abroad. There is also the sad fact that humans can be disgustingly cruel and a shelter animal may very well have finally been rescued after years with an abusive owner. It is not always the case that an old dog has bad habits or an aggressive temperament, however their character will be fully developed and probably like you and me they're a bit set in their ways.
So what are the pros and cons of adopting an older pet?
They will already be house trained. You won't have to deal with leash training, toilet training, socializing them or choosing the right diet. All of that will be well established. They will already know the basics like sit, stay etc.
They're most likely to have been neutered. Even if their former owner didn't do it the rescue centre certainly will as it's usually their policy.
No puppy bills. This is always a big cost when you take home a puppy. The vaccinations, worming treatments, annual boosters and neutering all adds up.
Obviously being older they won't destroy the house by chewing everything in sight. They'll be happy with their favourite dog toy or bone and won't be interested in such naughty puppy behaviour.
Their adult size will already be established so there'll be no question of how big will they become.
A puppy tends to need lots of attention and will be full of energy. Your older dog will still enjoy love and affection but will be used to having their own space and won't need to be fussed as much.
Their character will already be established so if you want a calm dog or a more energetic type then you'll be getting exactly what you see.
How are they with children? Older dogs can be extremely patient or very snappy. Find out their history as a lot of dogs won't tolerate screaming toddlers pulling and poking at them and may get a bit nippy. It will be your responsibility to do your homework, you never know if a particular dog has had a bad experience with children.
Medication costs. The older dog may have age related illnesses that will be an expense. However any animal will cost you a trip or two to the vets at some point.
The older years mean of course you will have to deal with losing them at some point. Even though sad things can happen to a puppy, your mature pet is obviously going to pass on sooner rather than later.
Obesity can be a real problem for the older dog, so diet and exercise is crucial. Incontinence can also be an issue too, so be prepared for that.
Any animal will be so happy to have a second chance at a second home. You're saving their life it doesn't get more positive than that.