Top 10 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog
Why Adopt an Older Dog?
1. They’re housetrained!
Adopting a dog that’s already housetrained is huge bonus. Training a dog to go out is a very time consuming endeavor. Adopting a senior dog means no puppy pads, no running home every four hours to let Fido out, and no accidents at 5 a.m.
2. They know what “no” means.
When you adopt a younger dog you may be the first person to ever try to train him. If you’re a new owner this can be a daunting task. A senior dog will most likely already know what “no” means. He may even know the basics, like sit, lay down, etc.
3. Their personalities are already established.
If you’re adopting a family dog or a dog that might be a precursor to a baby you’ll want to make sure that he’s OK with children. Adopting a senior dog will give you a more solid idea as to whether or not he’ll be OK with kids, since his personality is already established. You’ll also know if he’s social, if he likes other dogs, or if he has any behavior issues like guarding food or toys. These types of issues can be difficult to see in puppies or younger dogs since their personality is still in flux.
4. Senior dogs are great for first time dog owners!
Adopting a senior dog as a first time dog owner is a great way to reap the benefits of dog ownership and minimize the time consuming and not so fun tasks like dog potty training, leash training, and appropriate teething. Essentially, by adopting a senior dog you’re adopting a ready-made companion.
5. They like quiet.
That’s not to say that senior dogs don’t need exercise and play time, but like most senior citizens, senior dogs like their relaxation time. They enjoy cuddling up on the couch and watching TV, and they don’t need to be stimulated 24-7 like their younger, higher energy counterparts. They won’t be poking at you to throw a ball or squeak a toy when you’re trying to work from home. They’re content to take naps, look out the window, or curl up with you while you enjoy a good book.
6. They’re all done teething and there’s no need for puppy proofing your home.
Having a younger dog requires a lot of supervision. When you adopt a senior dog you have the luxury of being a little less vigilant. They’ve already gone through teething, so if they are chewing it’s most likely an anxiety issue. A senior dog is less likely to destroy your home when left unattended because he has already lived in a home. Which brings us to number 6…
7. They’ve lived in a house before.
A lot of times shelters will create what they call “real life rooms” in order to accustom shelter dogs with the furnishings of a home. When senior dogs come into a shelter they’ve usually been living in a home for the majority of their lives. Things like the noise a refrigerator or TV makes, navigating a couch, coffee table, etc. are all familiar to senior dogs. You’re much less likely to see a senior dog turn a sofa into a chew toy, or a carpet into a wee pad.
8. They know how to walk on a leash.
Leash manners are always a top priority for dog owners. Younger dogs are more eager, energetic, and less relaxed. If you want to take a nice calm evening stroll, having a senior dog as a walking buddy might better suit your needs.
9. Less of a commitment.
If you’re not sure where you’ll be in five years time, or if you too are approaching your golden years, adopting a senior dog is a good option. The life expectancy of a young healthy dog can range from 10-15+ years. By adopting a senior dog, you’re providing a home for a displaced dog to live out his golden years, and ensuring that you won’t have to surrender a dog of your own down the line.
10. You’re saving a life.
Choosing to adopt a senior dog is a life saving choice, but don’t adopt one because you feel bad, adopt one because they’re easy going, instant companions. When senior dogs are surrendered it’s usually due to a life altering change and is a last resort. An owner’s ill health, the birth of a child, an unforeseen move or financial change; the reasons are many. Senior dogs that end up in shelters are good dogs with no place else to go. By choosing to adopt a senior dog you’re giving him, or her, a second chance at life.