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Adopting An Older Dog

Updated on October 13, 2014

Would You Adopt An Older Dog?

This page is about the rescue and adoption of older dogs. When you think of getting a dog to add to your family do you think of a puppy or would you , could you consider adopting or rescuing an older dog?

Often overlooked these oldie dogs also need loving homes. What if you could make a senior dogs day by taking him/her home with you ?

Many people have worries that if they take on an older dog, they will not have the dog for very long before it dies, or that there will be expensive vet bills. These are certainly very valid concerns, however, vet bills can come along at any time during a dogs life and a young age is no guarentee of good health or longevity.

Older rescue dogs have a lot to offer and can be a good choice for many people.

Some people will want or require a puppy and that is lovely too, but if you are looking for a companion and don't need a pup, could you consider an older rescue dog

Rehomed Oldie Dogs. Put Love In Your heart!

Reasons to Let An Older Dog into Your Life

Older rescue dogs make lovely pets

An Older dog

Is past the chewing stage

Is likely to be housetrained

You will know how big he/she is going to to grow!

Is steadier and less likely to be rambunctious and tearing around the house.

Has known likes and dislikes so you can chose him /her to fit into your family

Has a known temperament.

Has often learnt how to be a good dog in the house

May already have learnt how to be left alone for a few hours while you go out.

Often already knows some obediance and commands.

If from a rescue may already be vaccinated, microchipped and neutered=saving you a lot of money.

If from a rescue will be less expensive, a lot less than many puppies.

If from a rescue you will know if he/she is Ok with children

If from a rescue you will know if he/she is good wiht other dogs/other animals.

Cosy Comfy Dog Beds For Your Older Dog.

Give your older dog a touch -or more- of luxury in his or her life. Older bones and bodies need an extra bit of comfort. These dog beds are so soft, so comfortable I could sleep in some of them myself! Whether its memory foam or soft cushions or anything else your dog likes do browse these choices and click through any of them to reach a wider selection on Amazon.

Orthopedic Pet Bed


Comfortable, Supportive Dog Bed

Very comfortable and supportive dog bed especially for dogs with joint stiffness or arthritis but lovely for any dog.

The outer cover is machine washable in denim cloth and the inner cover is waterproof and made of soft fabric.

If your dog is restless when trying to sleep he or she may be uncomfortable or even getting soem discomfort so it may be worth looking into to a bed like this for them.

K&H Lounge Sleeper Self-warming Pet Bed


Self Warming Dog Bed

This pet bed has several features that could be useful fro an older dog.

It has a non slid bottom which will mean you r pet is less likely to lose footing or slip up when getting in or out.

It has a self warming material which radiates heat back to you rdog which could be very beneficial especially if your pet has a think coat or feels the cold easily. No electricity is required.

It is easily washed in case of little accidents or just the usual need to wash the dog bedding regularly.

Could You Consider Adopting An Older Dog? - Rescue An Older Dog

Could You Consider An Older Dog?

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When is an Old Dog Old?

This is a matter that is debated. When thinking about age in dogs it depends to some extent on the breed and size and overall health of the dog.

In general smaller dogs may live longer than giant breeds , and cross breeds may live longer than purebred, but it is a huge generalisation.

Usually in many rescues I have talked with a dog is classed as adult or old anything past 5 or 6 years and is really a senior past around 10 years.

My Goldie was 10 and a half years old when he passed but my friends collie is now 16 years old and still enjoying life. My labrador was 18 when she died-though I do think she was a bit unusual for a Lab!

People often see "Oldies" as 10 years plus and can be very rewarding dogs to have in your life.

Often the most difficult dogs to place seem to be those between 5 and 8- not really senior oldies who have a cuteness all of their own but not young pups. However these are very rewarding dogs to take on as still lots to give and willing to learn.

There is much debate on how to age a dog and I am not an expert so you will need to make your own decisions. Here are some I have come across.

A rough guide ( and it is rough)

0-1 puppy

1-3 adolescent

3-5 adult

5-8 older adult

8+ Oldie/Senior.


After year one, a dog is equivalent to 16 years old.

At two years, they are equivalent to 24 year old

At three years a 30 year old

For each year after that add 5 human years.

Why You Might Consider An Older Dog.

What is A Suitable Home For An Older Dog?

A home that is suitable for a dog is usually suitable for an older dog. Dogs come in all shapres sizes, temperaments and personalities. It is really about finding a good match for you and the dog.

Dont forget that even if we buy a puppy, one day it will be old so these considerations will come all too quickly anyway and you will need to take care of your friend until the end.

If the dog has mobility or health issues of course you will need to take those into account as well , practically and financially.

Answer these questions about your home and your lifestyle then you will be ready to approach the rescue organisations.

Why do you want a dog?

Where will the dog live?

How long will the dog be left alone?

What is your lifestyle like ie active lots of walking/hiking or prefer short walks/ relaxing.

Is your household very lively and active or quiet and calm?

What is your home like ie one level, lots of stairs?

Do you have children or visiting children? If so what are their ages?

Do you have other pets? (Some older dogs are better living alone , others need the company of another dog)

What do you intend to do with the dog when you go on holiday? Ie kennels, homesitter service, friends etc

Can you give a lifelong comittment to your dog-even when they are old?

"Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog."

Sydney Jeanne Seward


Reasons To Adopt An Older Dog

You may not feel that your health or age is up to the rigours of a young dog but you can still go walking and offer a dog loving companionship.

You may be thinking of travelling in a few years time. A young dog could be a committment for around 12 -18 years whereas an older dog, while still a big committment will be a shorter timeframe which may fit better into your plans.

You maybe considering a dog now but intend to go back to work full time when the children start school in 4 or 5 years. Full time working may not be compatible with owning a dog especially a young one in its prime

You may be a first time dog owner and an oldie can be a good, more gentle introduction to dog ownership.

Pet Gear Tri-Fold Pet Ramp for dogs


Dog Ramps For Older Dogs - Helping Your Older Dog Access The Car

As dogs get older ans especially the larger breeds many of them seem to have more difficulty jumping in and out of the car. With a larger dog its not so easy to pick them up or help them into a car. I had great difficulty with a labrador then a Golden retriever. Some dogs re just too big to lift safely or do not enjoy the experience of being lifted or may have painful joints that hurt when you lift them so just avoid all that hassle. These dog ramps, once your dog gets used to them make life so much easier. You don't want you and your dog to miss out on those car journeys and outings so employing this simple solution will help you both.

Questions To Ask About An Older Dog

How old is he/she?

Does he/she have any health issues, if so how are they treated? (Some rescue organisations may be able help towards or pay the cost of any ongoing treatments in their senior dogs. Some cannot so you need to factor in any ongoing health cost)

Is he/she good with chldren/dogs/cats/otheranimals-dependant on what is important to you

How much exercise does he/she need. Some dogs will be happy with a short walk and comfort, others will need several hours of activity. Not all older dogs are couch potatoes!!

What is her/his temperament?

Where did he/she come from/-older dogs may come in when their owners die, go into hospital, go into care homes and cannot take their dog, are abandoned just because they are old, family circumstances have changed and can no longer keep the dog/afford the dog, eviction, homelessness etc....

Older Dogs Might Appreciate A Warm Dog Coat

Your older dog may feel the cold more so a nice coat may be a good investment to keep him/her comfortable.

A lovely warm coat that covers most of the dogs body is the best idea especially for the winter time.

The Oldies Dog Club

Thinking of adopting an older dog?

What is the Oldies Club?

Information About The Oldies Club

The Senior Dogs Project

the Senior Dogs Project:

(1) promotes the adoption of older dogs;

(2) provides current information on the special care that older dogs need so that they and their human companions may fully enjoy their golden years;

(3) documents the strong, loving bonds that people have with their older dogs.

Gorgeous Golden Oldie Dogs

Do You Know Any Older Dogs? Would You Adopt?

I would love to know your love of older dogs. I would like to hear your stories of your own older dogs that you may have had since puppy hood or any that you have adopted later in their lives.

Please note commercial links are not permitted.

Thank you :)

© 2010 RaintreeAnnie

Do You Like Older Dogs? - Have you rescued or adopted an older dog? Do you own an older dog?

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    • profile image

      Ruth Cox 

      6 years ago

      I would definitely consider adopting and older dog, making its last years on earth good ones.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Our animal shelter often has senior dogs, and they are often adopted by seniors, which is so sweet, nice companionship for both. Though their fee is quite low, it's even lower to make it easier for Seniors to adopt dogs. Love this article, it is very helpful.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      6 years ago from United States

      Older dogs make great companions!

    • JanieceTobey profile image


      6 years ago

      I have a friend who fosters dogs of all ages, especially hard to place dogs, which older dogs often are. She keeps them in her house and takes care of them until a permanent home can be found for them. Ha ha, she fell in love with one of the foster dogs and ended up adopting him herself!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      The only dog I've ever had was a Golden Retriever (Baron) who was probably 11 or 12 years old when we met him. He was a self-proclaimed mascot of my kid's grade school (lived in the neighborhood and visited the kindergarten playground time every day). One day he got picked up by the pound and the owners didn't want him back because he never stayed home. We ended up 'adopting' him and had him for 3 years. He was an absolute delight. I wouldn't trade that time for anything. Our whole family loved him.... including the cat. :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      they all deserve to be loved and cared for

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I've an older girl now who's around the 12 mark, but she's been with me for some time, but the recent addition to our family just turned 5 yesterday and we've only had him a few months. I really must get round to writing about him and our experience of getting him. Thanks so much for this informative and lovely page. :0)

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      7 years ago from United States

      Thinking back over the last few decades, my husband & I have adopted several dogs ranging in age. There is definitely a lot to be said for adopting older dogs, especially is they are housebroken already.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      The adoption of older dogs is such an important topic and it's good to see it being addressed here. Truly there is a need to find good homes for these dogs who will love you for it.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      7 years ago from Colorado

      Happy to see you promote the adoption of older dogs. Thank you!

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 

      7 years ago from New York City

      I like all dogs, any age, and I hope this nice, thoughtful page does help get some adopted.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      8 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I adore senior pets to adopt! You've pointed out some excellent reasons behind adopting an older dog and I have to say I do prefer seniors, but I'll help any animal in need. Thank you for this article!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks for covering this topic. As my daughter wisely said when she was young "Dogs are people too!". If a dog is in need, then it is a good candidate for adoption.

    • patinkc profile image


      9 years ago from Midwest

      My dog is 17 yrs old. He adopted me 15 yrs ago.

      Thanks for adding this lens to my Responsible Pet Owner lens.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great lens! In our business, we hear so often that people only want puppies and then we hear complaints about the "puppy stage". You bring up very valid points about the benefits of "oldies".

    • RaintreeAnnie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from UK

      @jolou: Thankyou for visiting, I appreciate it :) Yes puppies and young dogs are gorgeous and I think older dogs have a charm all thier own:)

    • RaintreeAnnie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from UK

      @Mix Mafra: Thank you :)

    • RaintreeAnnie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from UK

      @CruiseReady: Thank you for your visit and lovely comment :) I imagine a similar situation occurs in cat adoption?

    • jolou profile image


      10 years ago

      Good topic. I think many people want a puppy or at least a dog that is still very young, and the older ones often have trouble finding good homes.

    • Mix Mafra profile image

      Michelle Mafra 

      10 years ago from Corona CA

      Such a precious lens:) Dogs are truly the best!

    • CruiseReady profile image


      10 years ago from East Central Florida

      This is a very worthwhile lens... even from the point of view of someone like me, who is a cat lover. But, I can still relate, and yes, I would definately adopt an older cat!

    • RaintreeAnnie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from UK

      @PNWtravels: Thank you for your lovely comment and sharing about your older dogs:)

    • RaintreeAnnie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from UK

      @PetMemorialWorld: Thank you:)

    • RaintreeAnnie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from UK

      @anonymous: Thank you for the lensroll and wisihng you all the best for when you add a dog to your home :)

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great cause and a rewarding project to take on.

    • RaintreeAnnie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from UK

      @patinkc: Thank you for your comment and links. It is good to try to raise awareness on this topic.

    • RaintreeAnnie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from UK

      @darciefrench lm: Thank you for your Angel Blessing and feature, I appreciate that:)

      I love your comment and beautifully expressed how I feel too:)

    • RaintreeAnnie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from UK

      @lilymom24: Thank you for your lovely comment and for considering an older dog in the future.

    • RaintreeAnnie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from UK

      @Helene-Malmsio: Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I appreciate that:)

    • RaintreeAnnie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from UK

      @BuckHawkcenter: Thank you so much for your Angel Blessing, feature and lovely comment:)

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image


      10 years ago

      Ah, nicely done. Older dogs have such tremendous value in our lives and adopting one is a truly a rescue. Angel Blessed and featured on Angel Flys over Dog Lenses! Happy St. Pat's Day, to you.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Both my dogs are elderly now, they were adopted in their middle age. As I'm an 'oldie' now myself, in the future I would only adopt mature dogs so that there is less chance of them outliving me and facing an uncertain future.

    • lilymom24 profile image


      10 years ago

      Absolutely love this lens and yes, now that my kids are older, if we were to get another dog, would consider an older one. Thank you for bringing some awareness.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      10 years ago

      I love this lens and have blessed it, and will feature it on blessed pets. Good to get the word out about adopting older pets- we're all in this together as humans and we could all care for one another's pets as needed. As human's we could be accepting that things happen, people die, dogs are left behind and need new owners, and just do it, just do the care that's needed.-:)Thanks again for the wonderful tribute to senior dogs and their rights to happiness, love and comfort lifelong.

    • patinkc profile image


      10 years ago from Midwest

      Thank you for visiting my "Petowners" lens. I've added it, along with "Adopt A Shelter Animal" lens, to your list. Thank you for promoting this worthy cause and for your excellent lens on this subject!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I'm hoping to be able to get a dog again one day soon. This is excellent and lensrolled to my I Want a Dog lens, thank you!

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 

      11 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      Great lens! We've adopted several older dogs - they made such wonderful companions and ask for so little in return. There is nothing more sad than to think of an older dog that was someone's devoted pet spending the end of it's days abandoned or alone in a pen in an animal shelter. Here is a link to another organization that helps older dogs:

    • Twmarsh profile image


      11 years ago

      Great tips here, and a wonderful cause too. Five stars!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Great lens, great topic, important issue. Thank you.


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