You took the pledge to adopt to help end companion animal overpopulation. Now you’re faced with the next decision: puppy, adult, or senior dog? Puppies are so adorable and fluffy, adults are house trained and have grown into their personalities, but what about a senior dog. What are the pros?
First off, a senior dog is one that is at least 7 years old (older for smaller dogs). At that age, they can still be active, playful, and interested in many new adventures in the coming years.
While adding a new member to your household is a special and personal experience, I give you my top 5 reasons to adopt a dog that is a little longer in the tooth:
1. Calm disposition – Older dogs have mellowed compared to the high energy of younger dogs, making them good choice for a first dog, human companions that don’t have a lot of time for training, human companions that are less active, and those that like to cuddle.
2. Low maintenance – Any older dog sleeps through the night – and most of the day, giving you have a little personal time. He also probably knows a command or two already. Not a bad resume for finding a new home.
3. Part of the pack – A dog at that age likely has had a lot of experience with different humans, dogs, and other potential family members. You’ll be able to assess his behavior and disposition to determine if he would make a good addition to your existing pack.
4. Come as you are – The body size, grooming needs, and most importantly personality of an older dog are already settled. You know exactly the kind of dog you will be spending the many years to come and can choose the dog that is right for you and your home.
5. Save a Life – The older a dog is, the more challenging it is to find him a home. While most people are interested in a puppy or a younger dog, you are REALLY giving a second chance to a dog that might not otherwise get it.
Early in the relationship, it is even more important than younger dogs to get a proper medical assessment. This will insure you have a long and happy life together. Even though some older dogs have special needs, they are going to be that much more appreciative to find a loving home. If you have taken in an older dog, what were the benefits?