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Why You Should Adopt a Senior Dog

Updated on April 6, 2013

So You've Decided You Want a Dog...

Do you want a loving dog, minus all the stress of house-training? Want to change the life of a sad and lonely dog who has been surrendered by their longtime owner for one reason or another? Well, your wish can be granted. Adopt an older dog from the shelter!

There are many qualities of senior dogs that go unnoticed or taken for granted. You have to think about what you really value about the idea of having a dog. Decide whether you can keep up with a furry bundle of puppy energy or if you just prefer to have a loving and patient older dog who is already familiar with being a domestic pet.

Maybe you are not as physically mobile or energetic as you once were, and you want a dog that doesn't need to be rapped on the rear with a rolled-up newspaper every now and then for going potty on the carpet. Or maybe you don't want to walk into your closet one day and find that every one of your shoes has been nibbled on mercilessly. If you can relate, then a senior dog is for you! Here are some pluses about owning an older dog.

Mature dogs have a focused and calm attention span, so even if they do need some light training, there will be minimal stress and energy involved.

1. They Won't Destroy Your Belongings

Hate seeing your furniture damaged and having to pick up the remnants of a fully-dissected pillow in the middle of your bedroom floor? You don't have to worry about destructive surprises as such when it comes to owning a senior dog. Puppies typically go through the "chew-everything-in-sight" phase because doing so helps them to develop stronger teeth as they get older. Mature dogs have already gone through that stage in their life, so just provide them with a few doggy toys and their chompers will be satisfied!


2. They Walk on a Leash With Ease

Can't handle a dog weaving excitedly around your legs until you finally stumble and eat the sidewalk? Worry not! There are senior dogs available to you who have had previous leash-walking experience, and they will soak up your love and attention like a sponge. You can enjoy a smooth and peaceful walk with your elderly canine without the fuss of training.

Why are older dogs easier to manage than pups? Well, one main reason is that older dogs have a mature and fully-developed attention span, and a puppy's attention span is short and still in the process of developing. Senior dogs will not put up much resistance to commands and training either, because they get tired more easily.

3. You Are Their Only Hope

Got a big heart? Can you imagine having a beloved dog for twenty years or so, and then one day , something happens to you, and your beloved pet ends up sad and alone at the pound? Sadly, this is one of the typical surrender stories of senior dogs, so keep that in mind while you're browsing around for a dog.

You could be the solution to a senior dog's pain and loneliness. Don't adopt an older dog only out of pity, though; answer your own questions honestly about whether or not you actually see yourself loving and spending time with this animal. If your heart is in the right place, you're attempting to adopt an older dog because you love, appreciate, and accept the beauty of living creatures.

Senior dogs typically don't get as much attention as they deserve. Remind them in your own way that they are worthy of a comfortable lap to sleep on in front of the fireplace on a cold evening.

If you've made the decision to welcome a furry old-timer into your household, you have taken the first step in your rewarding journey with a senior dog.

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    • veganfitspiration profile image

      Amy 11 months ago from Colorado Springs

      I have recently been reading your articles and I love your passion and information on this topic. I have volunteered in shelters for years and all of this is so true of senior dogs!

    • nataliejs profile image
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      Natalie Schaeffer 4 years ago from Farmersville, CA

      @dogfond yes, they are a great addition to the family! Most of them are harmless and so well-behaved. But of course, people want to experience the full benefit of having a pet by getting a puppy or kitten and watching it grow. I understand that, but it's unfair that beautiful well-mannered dogs are put to sleep just because of their age. Senior dogs are great for anyone who appreciates a mellow companion.

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      dogfond 4 years ago

      Senior dogs are great addition to the family. every pet deserves all the love and care in the world.

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 4 years ago from Mason City

      I think so, too. Senior dogs and cats would make great pets!:)

    • nataliejs profile image
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      Natalie Schaeffer 4 years ago from Farmersville, CA

      Yes, yes, cats too! :)

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 4 years ago from Mason City

      I think that its a great idea to adopt older dogs, and older cats, too.

    • nataliejs profile image
      Author

      Natalie Schaeffer 4 years ago from Farmersville, CA

      Thank you. I couldn't agree more! Loving and caring for your dog should not be a "till they're old and helpless" commitment. One day, we will become "old and helpless," too. I don't understand why people get dogs in the first place if they aren't even willing to love them forever. Hopefully, this article will influence adopters to look at senior dogs in a whole new light.

    • LCDWriter profile image

      L C David 4 years ago from Florida

      Wonderful! Adopting senior animals is so important. Thanks for spreading the information. It's also important to take care of your pets when the become seniors. Too many people get discouraged if there are extra care issues with seniors. It really is a way to help an animal in desperate need of love. Everyone, including dogs, deserves love and compassion in their twilight years.