Senior dogs come to be in shelters in a number of ways. In some cases, their owners may have moved away and been unwilling or unable to take them to their new home. Sometimes a pet owner dies and leaves a dog behind with no one to care for it. During difficult economic times, some people are simply unable to provide for their pet and dogs are given up to the shelter. If you are looking for a new pet, adopting a senior dog has many advantages – consider it!
Many people are hesitant about adopting a senior dog because they think it has been surrendered due to behavioral problems. This is rarely the case. In many instances, the dogs have been with the same owner or family from the time it was a puppy. These dogs make loving companions and they even offer some advantages over adopting a puppy.
- They are Already Trained – Cute as they are, puppies come with a lot of issues and no understanding of what you want from them. You will have to have a lot of time and patience to invest into their training and there will probably be losses along the way. A senior dog, on the other hand, will probably already be trained and have at least a minimal understanding of basic commands. You won’t have to go through the chewing phase and come home to find your valuables have been shredded to pieces. Instead, you will find a grateful companion to calmly greet you at the door.
- A Better Quality of Sleep – If you have ever introduced a new puppy into your home, you know that as soon as the lights go out, that’s when the whining and whimpering starts. Missing his litter mates and his mother can have him demanding you’re a.m. time just like a newborn baby. A senior dog will be happy to turn in at the same time you do. Give him a big, soft bed of his own and he may even be there before your bedtime!
- Older Dogs are Calmer, Less Energetic – Dogs in shelters are evaluated to determine their temperament before they can be adopted out. That means that adopting a senior dog is a safer bet than getting a puppy who hasn’t yet decided who it will be when it grows up! Unless you want a dog to train for a marathon with you, a senior will be more content to engage in lower-energy activities with you. They are also more likely to be good fits for families with children.
- Easier and Less Messy Care – When a group of tail-wagging puppies dive into a dish of food and scatter it in the commercials on TV, the effect is adorable. When it happens on your kitchen floor; not so much! Everything is new for puppies and even one furry little critter can keep the messes coming day after day. Seniors have the tasks of eating and walking through the house down to a science. They know the difference between their food dish and the new plant that you just got planted.
- You Can Teach Them New Tricks – Senior dogs are less energetic than puppies but they still enjoy doing a variety of activities including learning new tricks. Their attention span is longer than a puppy’s and they will learn new things faster. Your senior companion will be eager to please. If you can get the message across so that he understands what you want him to do, he is probably going to do it.
- To Save Their Life – Shelters aren’t like nursing homes; they don’t keep their residents to live out their golden years in comfort. Most have a time limit for how long they will keep dogs before they are put down. You aren’t alone in considering adopting a puppy. Most people who have the choice prefer to get a cute and cuddly bundle of energy to raise as their own. But adopting a senior dog could mean the difference in whether they live out the rest of their life in a loving home or are euthanized before their time is up.
Adopting puppies is very commonplace. Their bubbly personalities make them irresistible to anyone who wants a new furry friend. But don’t overlook the many reasons that a senior dog might be the perfect addition to your family or as your faithful companion during their gold years.