“Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.” – Sydney Jeanne Seward
Rescue organizations and shelters often house senior dogs, but unfortunately, they wait much longer to find a permanent home than their younger counterparts. Ironically, senior dogs are often a better choice for adoption because of their life experiences and maturity. In celebration of November being Adopt A Senior Pet Month, we want to share our top 10 reasons to adopt a senior dog. Don’t get us wrong, we could actually make this a much a longer list but we think a top 10 list will do the trick.
Below are our top ten reasons to adopt a senior dog:
Senior dogs are house trained
Adopting a dog that has been house trained is a great bonus. Training a dog is time-consuming. Adopting a senior dog means you won’t have to go through the tedious stage of teaching a pup home manners or cleaning up after accidents.
They understand what “no” means
Senior dogs have thoroughly learned what “no” means. Adopting a younger dog means you will be its first trainer. As a new dog parent, this can be a daunting task. Adopting an older dog will save you the stress. A senior dog may even know the basics such as sit, down, stay, etc.
They have already established personalities
Senior dogs are mature and fully grown; so you know exactly what type of dog you are getting in terms of size and temperament, instead of guessing with a pup. A senior dog already has an established personality. You can tell if he is social, likes other dogs, or has behavioral issues such as guarding toys or food. Such issues are difficult to see in younger dogs.
Senior dogs are best for first-time dog parents
As a first-time dog parent, adopting a senior dog is an excellent way to enjoy both the benefits of parenting a dog and minimizing the time-consuming and tedious tasks like leash training, potty training and teething. Basically, by adopting a senior dog, you are adopting a ready-made fur companion.
They like it quiet
Just like senior citizens, senior dogs also like their relaxation and leisure time. Senior dogs enjoy cuddling up on the couch, watching television, and don’t necessarily need stimulation 24-7 like the younger and higher energy dogs. Older dogs won’t poke at you to squeak a toy or throw a ball when you are trying to work from home. They are very content to look out of the window, take naps, or curl up with you as you relish an interesting book.
No teething problems
No chews, gnaws, nips, or bites! Senior dogs are not teething pups and won’t chew your documents, shoes or furniture like their younger counterparts do. A younger dog needs a lot of supervision while you have the luxury of being less vigilant when you adopt a senior dog. They’ve already gone through teething, no need to puppy proof your house.
They have lived in a house before
Senior dogs have usually lived in a home most of their lives and are familiar with the noise a TV or refrigerator. They can navigate a couch or a coffee table. It’s very unlikely to see a senior dog turn a carpet into a wee wee pad or a sofa into a chew toy.
You get a good night sleep
With senior dogs, you get a good night’s sleep because they are used to human schedules. They don’t need comforting, nighttime feedings, or potty breaks.
If you are approaching your golden years or you are unsure of where you will be in five years time, adopting a senior dog is the right decision. The life expectancy of a pup ranges from 10 to over 15 years. By adopting an older dog, you are choosing to give a forever home to a displaced dog to live his golden years. That also means you won’t have to surrender your own dog down the line.
You are saving a life
Adopting an older dog is a life-saving choice. They are easy going companions. Senior dogs are surrendered to shelters as a last resort usually due to its parent’s ill health, a sudden move or financial downturn. Older dogs in shelters are good dogs with nowhere else to go. By choosing to adopt a senior dog, you are giving him/her, a second chance at life.
Did we remember to mention that senior dogs are good at giving love? Yes, they are! Once they get into their new home, they’re grateful for the second chance they’ve been given, and this often makes a very loyal and grateful companion!
Looking to adopt a senior dog? Help find them a permanent home by visiting a pet adoption center today! If you live in the Los Angeles area and you are looking to adopt, you can start your search now by viewing available dogs online at Los Angeles Animal Services. If you do adopt a dog, you may find these articles useful on How Often Should I Walk My Dog and Benefits Of Walking Your Dog Daily.
Have you adopted a senior dog before or you considering adopting one? If you are not ready to make the commitment, you could also test it out by fostering a senior dog. Many shelters and rescues offer programs for fostering pets.
*This blog was updated in November 2018.*