5 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog
The majority of dogs currently living in shelters are older, and while there are no-kill shelters, tragically, most of the 1.2 million dogs who are euthanized are seniors. They are the last to be adopted and the first to be put down. Bringing a senior dog into your home literally saves a life.
But what they do for you in return is phenomenal.
- Senior Dogs Can Improve Your Health. Four-legged friends keep you active, and they also reduce stress, loneliness, prevent or alleviate depression, improve heart health, reduce doctors’ visits, and, if you have children or grandchildren, they can reduce allergies. This is not, of course, restricted to senior dogs - but they do “pay you back” many times over for saving their lives.
- There Are Fewer “Surprises”
When you visit a senior dog in a shelter, what you see is usually what you get. You know what their full-grown size is, what they require in terms of grooming, and, importantly, what their personality is like. It makes it easier to adopt a dog who will be the right fit for your life, home, and family.
- You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks
Older dogs are typically more patient, calm, and focused, making it a great time to teach them skills and tricks. You can work on recall, off-leash training (in a safe enclosed place), or even some fun ones like “roll over” or “fetch my slippers.” Well, you can try that one anyway. Barring health problems, they are also housetrained, which means you will save a lot of time - and avoid a lot of messes.
- They’re Not as Work-Intensive as Puppies
A new puppy is like a new baby: you have to monitor them all the time! They require constant attention when it comes to housetraining and behavior. When teething, puppies can also wreak havoc on your furniture, shoes, and other items. This stage is a thing of the past for senior dogs. Another plus: they tend to settle into their new home and routine quickly. If you work, have children, a busy schedule, or like your “me time,” these are valuable benefits.
- They Are So Loving
Can dogs feel grateful? Some may argue it, but it’s hard not to believe your senior pet is thankful you adopted them. They just seem happy to have a forever home, and shelter staff routinely receive heartfelt letters and photos of older dogs adjusting beautifully.
Now, all dogs need exercise and attention, regardless of age. Senior dogs, though, have already worked out their puppy energy! Most are calmer and are not as high maintenance in this area. So, while they will enjoy walks, hikes, and playing at the dog park or in your yard, they don’t need to run a marathon every day to be content and healthy. This can be a wonderful benefit for those who are busy - and for those times when we want to watch just one more episode of our favorite show on Netflix. Your senior canine cuddle buddy will love to keep you company.
Are you considering adding a dog to your home? Think about adopting a senior dog. They will bring a host of benefits to your home, not the least of which is lots of love.
Older dogs do require more frequent veterinary visits to keep them in tip-top health. If you have an older pet, please give us a call and schedule a checkup. We’re happy to help with preventative and emergent care, vaccinations, flea/tick prevention, weight management, nutrition, and much more. We also provide free adoption exams within the first two weeks of getting your older pup.