Adopting
Older Dogs

You’ve made the decision to bring a dog into your life and you're off to the animal shelter to find your new four-legged family member. Now comes the hard part -- which dog do you choose? Before you immediately gravitate toward those cute young whippersnappers, consider adopting an older dog, who can give you companionship and cheer even though he’s getting on in years.

Why you should adopt an older dog

Families who have made the decision to bring an older dog into their home are the first to tell you how much better their lives are for it, and shelters are filled with senior dogs hoping to enjoy their puppy retirement with a warm bed (or floor!) and good company. The list of benefits is endless, but here are five amazing reasons to look to the older dog generation when adopting.

1. Wisdom comes with the territory

With experience comes wisdom, and like people, older dogs are chocked full of it. A senior dog is typically housetrained and socialized and no longer needs to chew up your household items just to get attention. This helps you to avoid the stress and chaos that comes with raising and training a puppy.

2. A senior dog knows who they are

An older dog already has an established personality. We can learn a thing or two from a senior dog who has figured out who he is and what he wants. You won't have to guess what they need because they will be the first to tell you. Nor do you have to worry about any surprises either, since what you see is what you get.

3. They take the time to smell the roses

Senior dogs are generally much calmer than younger dogs, and their sense of appreciation is overwhelming. Don't be surprised if a senior dog will sit by your side for hours, content with periodic hugs and pets. Now that they've left the wasted effort of chasing their tail behind them, they have more time to enjoy their environment, and more importantly, enjoy your company.

4. Because most people just won't

Simply put, the majority of dogs that aren't adopted and face the risk of being put to sleep are older dogs. Puppies and younger dogs are typically adopted first, leaving behind an amazing group of dogs that face discrimination purely because of their age. If you won't adopt a senior dog, no one will.

5. Your heart will thank you

An older dog is so happy and grateful to have a second chance in life that he will most likely welcome your companionship with open arms. He gives back to you more than you could ever imagine.

Whether your dog is young or old, there are no guarantees in life, so if you are going to rescue a dog, then look beyond their age and you will certainly find the one that is right for you. For more tips on owning a senior dog, visit DogQuality.com.

Bringing a senior dog into your life can be the most rewarding experience you'll ever have, so don't miss out. You'll be a better person because of it.

More Tips on adopting a pet

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10 Things to know before getting a dog
10 Things you should know before bringing a cat home

Tags: mutts

Comments

Comments on "5 Reasons why you should adopt an aging dog"

Karen J December 08, 2011 | 8:09 PM

I completely agree with this article! I adopted a senior dog (never was sure how old she was) and I am so happy to have been able to give her a loving home for five years. Not knowing what she had been through in her life made me appreciate and love her even more. She had physical scars but was a sweet and content old girl that wanted a place to spend her "golden years". When the time comes to adopt a dog again I will be getting another senior :)

Margaret Mcintyre November 25, 2011 | 9:41 AM

I agree with all of the positive reasons to adopt and older dog. I think it's also prudent to think about the vet bills that might come sooner than later--and prepare for it. While you will be saving all of the puppy shots--spay/neuter bills etc.,--those savings will be balanced with likely outlays for aging dogs. Still, I think the benefits of the older dog outweighs the negatives, especially if you have recently lost your mature pet. I was so used to my eight year old labrador retriever's loving, calm and patient temperament, when I brought home the new Lab puppy at 10 weeks, I was not prepared for the extreme puppy behavior which my kids claim "I forgot. I missed my 8 year old lab even more.

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