If some things get better with age, why are there millions of homeless older dogs sitting in shelters and waiting for their forever homes? News flash: There are some serious benefits to adding a golden oldie to your family pack. If you’re considering adopting a dog in need, you should definitely consider one of the countless senior dogs for adoption.
Here are eight reasons why adopting an older dog is completely awesome.
Benefits of Adopting a Senior Dog
House Training Made Simple
Many senior dogs for adoption will not need to be house trained. They will, of course, need a period of readjustment so they can get comfortable with learning a new routine. And the gentle patience and guidance of a pet parent who believes in positive reinforcement is essential. But when you adopt an older dog, those puppy piddle times in the house are, for the most part, a thing of the past.
Seniors Dogs Are Cuddle Experts
Senior dogs tend to be more laid back and are generally happy to snuggle by your side. Their young, angst-filled years are behind them and they are ready to be your best friend for the years ahead. And who doesn’t like the feeling of cozying up with a warm, comforting dog when you’ve had a bad day?
Save a Life Syndrome
Puppies are generally the first to be adopted in shelters. Senior dogs, on the other hand, are harder to place and are often the first to be needlessly euthanized. Choosing one of the senior dogs for adoption means displaying an act of compassion and giving that dog a second chance at a happy life.
Training a Senior Dog Is Easier Than You Think
The old adage of “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is completely false. Dogs of any age, with the right person and level of patience and compassion, can learn a variety of new things. Often times, dogs who end up in shelters with “behavioral problems” are simply dogs who are bored and had nothing to do. Give a dog a “task” and have fun together as you both learn.
Adopting a Dog May Help You Live Longer
Statistics show that people who have a pet tend to live longer lives (or at the very least have fewer health problems), lower stress levels and generally feel better about themselves. In fact, a recent study, originally published in the medical journal "Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes," shows that owning a dog could reduce one's risk of mortality by a whooping 24 percent. Life spans of dogs are also increasing thanks to improved veterinary care, nutrition, medical advances and due diligence in the way we care for our pets.
They'll Give You a New Outlook
Bad habits be gone: From quitting smoking to meeting new people, senior dogs have a way of balancing a person out and re-introducing them to a whole new world. Need someone to get you moving and off the couch? Want to try playing a new sport? Maybe it’s time to reevaluate your attitude. A senior dog can inspire you to approach all of these things with a new outlook.
Ask any senior rescue volunteer and they'll tell you that the senior dogs for adoption are the definition of WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get). You can see if they have mobility issues, what color they are, what their energy level is like and how big (or not) they will grow. Temperament has been developed and any behavioral issues can be addressed with positive reinforcement and a respectful, qualified dog trainer. An older dog, therefore, comes with a clear history whereas a young pup is less predictable.
There Are Even Purebred Senior Dogs for Adoption
If your heart is really set on a particular breed, there are plenty of purebred rescue groups out there that focus their efforts on saving dogs of a specific breed. You can adopt that purebred Golden Retriever, Dachshund or Bulldog by just doing a little bit of research. These rescue groups often have senior dogs for adoption, just waiting for awesome pet parents to take them home.
So go ahead, take a chance on one of the senior dogs for adoption at your local shelter. Age is nothing but a state of mind, and the feeling of self-gratification that comes with adopting a senior dog is worth a lifetime of wags.