When considering adopting a dog into your family, many people often think that a cuddly, energetic puppy is the most appealing choice. Though puppies are fun and undeniably cute, the cuteness doesn’t come without a lot of work. There is a definite case to be made for senior dogs.
These elder pups often get overlooked at the shelters. But they need good homes, too – even more so than the younger pups. Shelters usually have a larger senior pet population, and by adopting one, you are truly saving and changing a life. Some of these older dogs have been cast aside for unfortunate reasons by their families — maybe even simply because they just aren’t as peppy as they used to be. Imagine the sense of betrayal a dog might feel! One would think that this would harden a dog’s demeanor and they would never love again. On the contrary, most dogs are even more eager to love and are willing to open up their doggy hearts to another family. The following are a few points to keep in mind when you are making the choice to add to your family:
1. As prospective pet parents, you might think that seven dog years equals one human year but dogs age differently based on their breed. The larger breed dogs tend to age more quickly than smaller breed dogs. Giant and large breeds are considered to be seniors when they reach around six or seven years-old while medium breeds are considered to be seniors closer to eight or nine years old. Smaller breeds are seniors when they reach about ten to 12 years of age.
2. With good nutrition, proper exercise and veterinary care, your senior pups will live a great life as your companion and family member.
3. As previously mentioned, there is no doubt that puppies are cute. However, remember the time it takes to potty train them. If you are mature, yourself, and don’t have the patience for crate-training and pee pads, an older dog is best for you.
4. If you are looking to adopt a “furever” friend who understands what it’s like to be a member of a family “pack” and will learn quickly what is expected of them in their new home, a senior dog may be the best choice for you. Many of these older dogs are not in shelters for behavioral problems. They lived with, and were loved by, a pet parent who passed away and these grieving pups by no fault of their own were placed in a shelter.
Contact your local shelter and/or rescue organization to see if they have a senior dog that will be best suited for your family’s lifestyle.
For over fifteen years, Susan Marie has been spreading the word about puppy love through her national weekly radio show, The Doggy Diva Show. Susan is also the author of the award-winning Miss Olive children’s book trilogy The Doggy Diva Diaries.