November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month
Older dogs make great pets. Most people who want to adopt a dog look for a puppy or adolescent. There is nothing like a puppy for its cuteness, energy, and happy dog-exuberance. But older dogs bring gifts of their own, and shelters have many wonderful and healthy seniors in need of a home. Don’t assume that because an older dog is in a shelter, it’s a problem animal. It is more likely that they were someone’s beloved pet. Perhaps the pet parent moved to place where she could not take her dog, went into a nursing home, or passed away. A new baby or other life change can also make it difficult for some people to keep a dog. Shelters run out of room due to the large number of homeless and abandoned dogs, and unfortunately, it is the older ones who are euthanized first. Most veterinarians believe that dogs age seven and older fall into the category of senior.
6 Reasons Why To Adopt An Older Dog
- They tend to stay in shelters the longest. The older dog is used to a safe and routine home environment, and are often lost when brought to a shelter. Having no idea what has happened, and missing their family, they often become depressed.
- They are often less destructive. They’ve already been through the teething stage so most no longer want to eat your shoes or the furniture.
- They tend to be calmer.Having possibly lived in a home environment before, they may adapt quicker to routines and are content to sleep and go for walks. They’re more likely to have been socialized and often get along well with other dogs, and sometimes other species of animals. Senior dogs also tend to make great pets for senior people
- They are more likely to have had some training and know basic commands, such as sit, down, and stay. If the dog needs basic training, the senior has a longer attention span than a puppy and tend to learn quickly. It is a myth that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
- They have larger bladders than puppies. That means they can hold it longer. If you have a job or are away from the house from 9 to 5, then an older dog may have less accidents than a new puppy. Although you may also likely get to skip house training, some accidents are still possible, as any new dog needs an adjustment period. Having matured, older dogs will sleep a lot longer, and may not require as much vigorous exercise. They’ll likeky be happy with easy, slow walks.
- You will save a life. Feel good knowing that you saved a dog that may have been more easily overlooked than a puppy.
Older dogs are loving and loyal, and make great companions. As with any adoption, find out as much as you can about the dog’s history, and be sure to get their medical records. It takes a high level of compassion to adopt an older dog, as you know that their life with you will be shorter than that of a puppy. But the knowledge that you gave him another chance in a loving home will be your reward and help you through his passing.
Consider adopting a senior dog, and you will quickly have a best friend who will love to walk with you and sit by your side. Dogs know when they are saved, and your pet will be grateful.