Why You Should Consider Adopting A Senior Dog

You don't have to wait until the official Adopt A Senior Dog month to consider adopting  an older dog.  It's a sad fact that at shelters, as a cat or dog's age increases, the likelihood of them being adopted decreases.

One of these cuties is much older than the other one, and will likely take a lot longer to find a home.
Once they pass around 5 years of age, many potential adopters think twice about adopting a dog or cat.  Why?  There are a number of misconceptions adopters have, here are a few I have heard in my years as a shelter volunteer:

She's 5 years old, she probably has health issues and her family didn't want to pay the vet bills
She's older already, if she doesn't have health problems now she probably will soon
We won't get many more years with her.  It's not worth it
He's too old to train, I want a dog I can train
He probably won't be able to love me as much as his first family, he was with them for so long
We really want a puppy!  We don't want an old dog
We want an active dog that can play with the kids in the yard.  This one won't have enough energy
We don't want a dog that's more than 3 years old.  I don't know, anything over 3 just seems old!

The list goes on, but you get the idea.  If a dog is more than 7 years old, we have an even more difficult time adopting them.  Not many people want to adopt a senior dog.  The 10 year old dogs we've had.... well, it's a special person that will open their home to a 10 year old dog. 

One of my absolute favorite adoptions was a 10 year old blind Daschund.  I was so worried that no one would take him.  One morning a man showed up at the shelter, he was an older military Veteran.  He had driven all the way from a city about 50 miles North of Phoenix just to adopt this dog.  He'd seen him online and said that he and his wife felt the dog "deserved to live out the last years of his life in comfort".  He didn't mind that the dog was blind, he had researched tips on living with a blind dog and how to make things easier for the dog in the home.  He didn't mind that there might be veterinary bills.  They loved Daschund's and wanted this sweet, beautiful little dog to join their Doxie pack and spend his last years with their family.  I could have KISSED that wonderful man!!  My eyes are tearing up now just thinking about that great adoption.  I'll never forget it.

My darling girl, Phoebe.  She was about 6 years old when we adopted her.  She's brought us so much joy! I can't imagine our family without her!
Don't make assumptions!   Senior dogs can make the best pets! Here are just a few benefits of adopting an older dog:
Senior dogs are often already house trained
Older dogs may be well trained in general, and possibly easier to teach new things
Older canines are usually much calmer than a puppy or 1 to 3 year old, but still have plenty of energy for walks, hikes, and playtime!
An older shelter dog is probably just as healthy as any other dog of the same age.  Don't assume they have health problems!
Your senior shelter dog just might outlive that shelter puppy or 1 year old dog.  You can never tell how long any dog will live.  Just like people, a dog's health is as individual as he is!
Older dogs available for adoption are often Owner Surrenders due to divorce, death, or failing health of the owner. 
Sometimes older pets are surrendered due to extreme financial issues in their family.  We saw a lot of that at the animal shelter during the economic downturn.  It's heartbreaking.

People sometimes forget that puppies are a TON of work, and that they are only puppies for a few months.  An older dog will bring your family just as much joy and love as any puppy can.

Spring and Summer are Puppy and Kitten Season. It's the time when animal shelters and animal rescue organizations have an abundance of puppies and kittens.  Senior dogs and cats are often passed over for adoption in favor of irresistible puppies and kittens at the shelter.  One thing is for certain, when you adopt a senior dog, especially in Spring or Summer, you SAVE A LIFE!!

Have you adopted an older dog or cat?  Please leave a comment and share your Senior pet's story with us!


Unknown said...

Sad sad excuses why people dump their senior pets at the shelters. Poor babies :(
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

I know, shelters have to work extra hard to find homes for these wonderful seniors. Thanks for stopping by!

Jackie Bouchard said...

What a sweet story about that man. I'm sure that dog brought him a lot of joy. We had a 16 yr old dog come in to the shelter I volunteer at - great dog and still very spry! We were all so happy when she got adopted!

AnnStaub said...

Love this post :) My dog is 11 years old and she is awesome. It's just so hard to believe that people really think that dogs "over 3" or even 5 are old! My senior dog still acts that old lol.

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

That is so awesome! A 16 year old dog is SO hard to get adopted. Thanks for sharing your heartwarming senior dog story, and thanks for stopping by the blog Jackie!

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

I know! It's so ridiculous that people think 5 is over the hill in doggie years! I'm so glad your senior dog is enjoying life, hopefully you'll have many more years together! Thanks for visiting us, Ann.

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