Reasons You Should Adopt a Senior Dog
Are you looking to adopt a dog? Unsure of where to start, what type or how old of a dog to look for? Let me share with you why you should adopt a senior dog.
Why you should adopt a senior dog
I’ve taken in quite a few dogs in my day. I’ve adopted my own, I’ve fostered and I am constantly picking up strays on the side of the road.
I’ve raised dogs of all ages, from birth to senior, so I’d say I’m pretty well qualified to talk with you about this topic.
Of every dog I’ve brought home, though, one group sticks out the most- seniors. Senior dogs are my absolute favorite dogs to take in. People generally don’t want to adopt a senior dog and that breaks my heart because I don’t think people quite understand what they’re missing out on.
1. They’re good for Full-time Working Families
Senior dogs are typically fine when left alone for the day. They don’t get as stir crazy as young pups who need to burn off tons of energy. Seniors are fine sleeping all day on their comfy bed. While they still need regular exercise, they don’t need as much as a puppy.
Our Sweet Grandma Dog sleeps for a solid 20 hours a day, at least.
2. No Surprises
Senior dogs are already grown and won’t be blowing you away in six months after they’ve surpassed the “estimated size” listed on their adoption page.
Pretty much, what you see is what you get. You’ll know instantly if they fit nicely in the car, in your house, on the couch and in your bed… lets be honest, there is nothing like sleeping with your furry pal.
3. No destruction
Since seniors are, well, seniors they have long since outgrown the need to chew up everything. I can’t tell you have many pairs of shoes, socks, jeans, …ahem..underwear.. I’ve lost to younger dogs.
When Cocoa was a puppy, she ate half a watermelon that was sitting on the floor. She’s jumped up and eaten an entire chicken off the counter. Like… Cocoa was a nightmare when she was young.
I had a foster dog named Batman that broke into my child locked kitchen pantry, got himself locked inside of it and ate everything he could reach. Thank goodness I got home when I did because when I got him out the pantry he was choking on dry grits….
You know who hasn’t caused absolute chaos in my house? My senior dogs.
4. The Appreciation
When you adopt a Senior dog, a lot of times, they’re coming from a pretty awful situation. Abuse or neglect, dropped off on side of the road (like Grandma Dog), or sometimes they’ve lost their owner.
Whatever the case, there is usually a pretty sad story attached.
You’ll quickly notice how appreciative your senior is compared to any other animal you have. They’ve lived life to know the good and definitely the bad, so when they’re coming into your home and experiencing love and affection for the first time in a while, they are so grateful.
You see Cocoa? I’ve raised her since she was 4 weeks old. She was bottle fed. She may be older but she’s known a good life and doesn’t even realize how good she has it.
But Grandma Dog? She is, hands down, the most appreciative dog I’ve ever had. She is so good and calm. When offered snacks, she takes them so gently. She waits until you call her to come by you. To watch her gain trust for us was beautiful. You can see it in her eyes that she knows how lucky she is.
5. They will bring you so much joy
Even though their age may be up there, senior dogs will bring you just as much joy as a puppy would. Even if they’re old, they’ll still bring you a lifetime’s worth of joy in what time they have left here.
A dog is considered “Senior” sometimes as young as 6 years old, depending on their weight.
Don’t pass on a 5-6 year old pup just because you don’t want to get a dog and have him for a short time. Those boogers can live 15 + years. My Boots was 18 years old. Addie was 15.
You may not have them for a long time, but they’ll have you for the rest of their life. They don’t want to live out their best years in a shelter or have their life taken due to lack of space or interest.
There are things to consider
While you may not have issues with potty training or destructive puppy behavior, there are some things to keep in mind.
As dogs age, their bodies change. Medical issues may occur in some dogs. It’s important that you watch for signs of illness and work to ensure your senior is comfortable. Things like arthritis often affects dogs, leading to pain when doing things, sometimes as simple as walking.
Adopt a senior dog. I promise you won’t regret it
All things considered, pro’s and con’s weighed, a senior dog is a good candidate for adoption. Don’t write them off due to their age. Give one a chance.
Check out Petfinder to find a Senior that is looking for a home near you. Nonprofit rescue organizations list them quite often, usually with little hope that they’ll be adopted due to the simple fact that they aren’t young anymore.
Inquire about a senior and ask if you can do an overnight trial with them and see if they’re a fit for you. I promise, if you give them a chance, you won’t regret it.