When many families look to adopt a dog, they’re focused on cute little playful puppies that are full of energy and vigor. They may not consider the benefits that can come from taking in an older dog that has outgrown that puppy phase. But just like puppies, senior dogs can be an incredible addition to your family. In honor of November being Adopt a Senior Pet Month, we’re taking a closer look at some of the reasons to consider opting for an older dog.
Age is just a number.
A common age for dogs to be considered “senior” is seven years old. However, dogs can easily live into their teen years, especially if they are a smaller breed. So just because you’re adopting an older dog does not mean its time is limited. You can have a lot of wonderful years together, and even at age seven, the dog may still be highly active and energetic.
You already know their size and temperament.
Puppies can be unpredictable, especially if they are a mixed breed. It can be hard to tell just how big they may get, or what their personality may be like. Senior dogs are done growing and already have a fairly established temperament. After spending a little time with them or talking to staff who has worked with them at the shelter, you can get a pretty good idea of what they’re like and whether they’d be a good fit for your family.
They require less work.
Puppies have a lot of energy and need to be trained. This can be very demanding if you haven’t set aside the time to work with your new dog. However, older dogs are typically housebroken, know a few basic commands, and are used to being a family pet already. They tend to be calmer and not as apt to chew up your house or have accidents. This can be great for older adults seeking a companion animal or families with small children who want a more laid-back dog.
They are still trainable.
Despite the old cliché that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” you actually can. Older dogs are still able to be taught new skills if you work with them. They’re ready to please and may be eager to learn something new if you make it fun. Some senior dogs may be retired service dogs and therefore already highly trained.
They have a lot of love left to give.
There are countless reasons why senior dogs may be up for adoption. Perhaps their previous owner passed away, could no longer afford them, or moved and couldn’t take them along. Older dogs often take longer to be adopted and have a higher risk of being euthanized. You could be literally saving the dog’s live by adopting it. Plus, even though they are older, they still have a lot of love to give and can become a faithful companion.
If you’re interested in adopting a dog, don’t overlook the benefits of considering a senior animal. You may find that it is a wonderful fit, especially if you are a new pet parent. And don’t forget that Lake Wylie Pet Resort has you covered if you’re heading out of town and need to board your dog, or if you feel they could use the socialization and activity of doggie daycare. Contact us today to learn more!