There are many senior dogs available for adoption in shelters. Many people want to adopt a puppy instead of a senior dog. Puppies take more time and attention than healthy senior dogs do. Keep reading to find out why people choose to adopt a senior rescue dog instead of a puppy!
You may be asking, “When is a dog considered a senior?” Most veterinarians say that dogs become seniors around the age of 7. Small dogs usually live longer lives and would therefore become a senior later in life.
Most rescue shelters consider a dog a senior at 5 years old. Most people want younger dogs or puppies. A dog 5 years old and older, in a shelter, are less likely to be adopted.
Senior dogs are in shelters for many reasons. Read more here about why dogs are in shelters. Most senior dogs have lived inside a home before at some point in their life, making it a little easier for them to adjust to living in your home.
Senior dogs are already housebroken. You won’t have to train your dog to relieve themselves outside because they already know that.
If you get a puppy, most likely you will have to train them to go outside. You will also have to take them outside more often than a senior dog.
If you have ever had a puppy, you know how much puppies chew. You will have to teach a puppy what is appropriate to chew on and what is not. Puppies chew more when they are cutting teeth to sooth their sore gums.
A senior dog will not be cutting teeth. A good bone to chew on will satisfy a senior dog. Senior dogs are less likely to be destructive with chewing than puppies and younger dogs.
Most senior rescue dogs will have had some training. They will know basic commands like sit and stay, plus they will understand the word “no”.
With a puppy, you will have a lot of training to do. You will have to teach your puppy everything, including basic commands and socialization is very important for your puppy.
Calmer, more relaxed
Puppies are full of energy and they need lots of exercise to release that energy. They will need several walks each day along with playtime.
A senior dog is low energy. They are much calmer and relaxed. They enjoy a good nap and so can you. If you want a low energy and relaxed dog, don’t overlook the senior dogs.
Older dogs are very eager to please their owners. They will enjoy the attention from training and the mental stimulation they will receive.
Senior dogs can focus more than younger dogs or puppies making training easier. They have seen many different things and people during their life, where a puppy or younger dog can be easily distracted.
Save a Life
Be a hero to a senior rescue dog and save it’s life. When the kennels are full at kill shelters, the senior dogs are usually the first to go. Senior dogs get overlooked many times when they could be the perfect pet.
A senior dog somehow knows that you are saving it’s life. They are very loyal to their owners who rescue them. You are their hero! They will want to please you and make you as happy as you have made them.
An older dog is full grown. You don’t have to wonder how big it will get. When you meet the dog you will see how big they are, their temperament, and their personality.
You will be able to ask questions to staff members who have interacted with the dog. Is the dog good with children, other dogs or cats? Whatever questions you may have, ask the staff members.
Get a Checkup
Have your veterinarian give the senior rescue dog you are considering to adopt a checkup. If there is a medical issue with the dog, you can then decide if you want to take on the financial responsibility for the dog.
If you want a low energy dog with some training that will be loyal and thankful, adopt a senior rescue dog. They will be grateful to you for saving their life. Best of all, they will love to cuddle with you!
Have you adopted a senior dog? Feel free to leave a comment or share a story about your dog. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.