Senior Dogs for Adoption
Most animal shelters are filled with older dogs, a lot of them healthy and active, that are in need of a good home. Sadly enough adopting an older dog is not as common as adopting a puppy or a younger dog. When you’re thinking about adopting a pet from your local shelter, don’t look past the older dogs – they still make great pets, some argue even more so than puppies.
Benefits of Adopting an Older Dog
There are plenty of reasons why adopting an older dog is wonderful, but likely the most important is, you could be saving its life. Most people are quick to adopt younger dogs or puppies, leaving shelters overcrowded with senior dogs. The older dogs are often the first to get euthanized if they have been at the shelter for a long period of time. By adopting a senior dog, you aren’t just giving it a better life in your own home, but you are potentially saving its life in general.
Another great thing about older dogs, is that they are often times already trained or at least know basic commands. Some think that these dogs were taken to the shelter because they were problem dogs – which could be the case – but a lot of the time they were taken in because their owners were unable to keep them for other lifestyle reasons (allergies, new baby, moving, etc.). So, you don’t have to necessarily devote the same amount of time training as you would if you were to adopt a brand new puppy. It is still important to know the reason why the dog was brought to the shelter before going through the adoption process, just to be sure it is the right dog for you and can safely fit well in your family.
Older dogs tend to be less energetic and calmer than young pups – they have already established a demeanor and temperament which will help you get an idea of whether they will be a good fit in your own home.
Finally, when adopting an older dog, you will get an instant companion in a way. They likely won’t need to be leash trained and will be ready to go on long walks with you, already know how to play fetch, and are more so looking for a loving owner than a small puppy who doesn’t really understand the companionship between dog and owner yet.
When Adopting an Older Dog Can Get Tough
There are of course some drawbacks to adopting a senior dog as well. A big one is that they could have age-related health issues, which can either be time consuming or expensive to treat. Luckily, there are inexpensive general health supplements for dogs to help them feel their best an any age. If their issue is dog joint health, there are also plenty of options specifically made to treat dog joint pain.
Another worry when adopting an older dog is that they could have some undesirable behaviors that they picked up early in their life and are hard to train them out of. Behaviors can be hard to change, but older dogs have a much longer attention span than younger dogs, making them a bit easier to train in some ways.
Naturally, the concern that the dog won’t live much longer after you adopt them comes to mind as well. If you’ve ever had a dog before, you understand the special bond that happens between dog and owner, and to get to have that even for a few short years is worth it – both for you and for the dog.
Making the Decision
Ultimately it is up to you, whether or not you think adopting an older dog is the right decision for you at that time. In our opinion, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, and being able to provide a dog of any age with a great home, is one of the best gifts you could give them. If you do decide to adopt a senior dog, we highly recommend checking out these joint health supplements to not only help treat dog joint issues, but to improve general wellness as well.