Approximately 6.5 million animals enter U.S shelters each year. More times than not, these animals aren’t young and lively anymore. Many of them are senior pets, who probably once had homes and families, and could have ended up homeless for various reasons. When we think about bringing home a new pet, we often think of a tiny, fuzzy kitten or a fluffy, energetic puppy. But, why don’t we ever think of bringing home an older pet? Sure, they may be going a little gray and they may not have all the energy in the world, but a lot of us can probably say the same. They still have so much love to give, and just like the rest of us, they simply just want to be loved. November is adopt a senior pet month! Here at Good Dog, we have many senior dogs who come in to visit us. We wanted to highlight a few reasons why adopting a senior dog can be a rewarding, great experience. Not to mention, we also wanted to give a few of our very own senior residents some shine.
1. Old dogs can still learn new tricks! It’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. In fact, a lot of times older dogs can be easier to train than puppies, due to their ability to focus for a longer period of time. Consistency is really the only thing that matters when teaching anyone something new! (Consistently giving treats that is.)
-Molly, the 14 year old Blue Heeler! She still loves to play fetch and she also enjoys bath time.
2. Senior dogs often already have basic training. Most senior dogs have already been potty trained, and many of them know basic commands like sit, stay, shake, etc. Teaching a new puppy these things can take a lot of time and energy that many people just don’t have.
-Buddy, the 14 year old chow-lab mix! He is one of our regulars in daycare! He still comes at least once a week.
3. Older dogs are more calm, and less energetic. Once dogs come out of their puppy stage, they tend to calm down quite a bit. This means fewer chewed up shoes, and less destroyed furniture. This also means they will be less needy in terms of wanting to play, or go on walks 24/7. If you have children, older dogs tend to be more calm which typically results in them doing better with kids as well!
-Bug and Sophie, the 14 year old pug sisters! They love to cuddle up together for naps.
4. Senior dogs already have set personalities and temperaments. Senior dogs are already who they are going to be. You won’t have to worry about any surprises. They already have their set personalities, whether that be shy, calm, outgoing, or friendly. What you see is what you get. With that being said, this will make it easier to assess how he/she may fit into your lifestyle.
-Bully, the almost 12 year old French Bulldog! He still comes to daycare all the time! (Even if his time here is mostly spent sleeping.)
5. Adopting an older dog is saving a life. Many times dogs over the age of five are overlooked. The odds for them aren’t always great. Some of these dogs will live in a shelter for the rest of their days. It’s important to remember that older dogs need a home just as badly as the young ones. It is a heroic thing to find beauty and love in what others wouldn’t even think twice about.
-Tipper, the almost 10 year old chihuahua-beagle mix! She is the best to snuggle with!
These are just a few of the many reasons why adopting an older dog can be the right choice for a lot of us. Everyone deserves a home and a family, no matter how young, old, big, or small. With all the cute puppies around, I think it can be easy for us to forget about the older dogs. That is why we wanted to bring awareness to adopt a senior pet month! Next time you are looking to bring home a new pet, consider taking home a senior pet. Take it from Tiki, who is a senior himself, that the old guys are just the best!
– Our very own Tiki, the 11 year old pug-poodle mix! Tiki loves his human and doggie friends and he likes to play with his toys.