Why you should adopt a senior dog

Friday, 30 November 2018

I think there is a misconception, even if not intentional, that an older or senior dog which needs to be rehomed is a “problem dog” and there is something wrong with them. However, being unwanted doesn’t mean they are broken. It just means they have been let down by humans. We adopted Benji when he was five, so he wasn’t a puppy anymore and was on the cusp of being a golden oldie. Now that he has been a part of our family for two years, I am so passionate about giving older dogs a second chance and wanted to share with you my top reasons for adopting an older or more senior dog.

Benji, Age 7. Our sweet little senior rescue dog


AGE IS JUST A NUMBER

Benji is now 7 and he is still fit, healthy and loves an outing. Dogs that are passed their puppy stage still have so much life left in them and I have met some 14-year-old Jack Russell’s on the promenade that are fitter than me!


THEY COME WITH FULLY FORMED LITTLE PERSONALITIES

When you adopt a senior dog, you can pick a dog with a personality that will best fit your lifestyle and family. Dogs will have their characters assessed before they are put up for adoption, so you will be able to find out if they get on with other dogs, like cats, prefer to be a lapdog or enjoy runs along the beach. If you want to Netflix and chill or go on hiking adventures, I can assure you there is a dog out there waiting at a shelter that is a perfect fit for your personality. Even if a dog has a behaviour issue or seems scared and timid when you first meet them, this can easily be resolved with the right care and a lot of love. Benji was petrified of every noise and now he loves an outing to our local coffee shop where the sound of the coffee machine doesn’t faze him at all anymore.


THEY ARE GRATEFUL

A dog doesn’t have to know you from the time they were a puppy to love you. There is not a day that goes by where Benji doesn’t show me how grateful he is to have a home. Sometimes this will be him jumping on the bed when the alarm goes off to have a snuggle, sometimes its they way he just looks at me or at odd moments he will put his sweet, tiny paw on me if I am sitting next to him. He does so many precious things and I know he is saying how grateful he is the only why he knows how.

THEY ARE EASY ON YOUR SHOES

Older dogs have passed their teething stage which means your shoes and sofa should be safe!

YOU CAN TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS

Older dogs are generally calmer and more mature, so they can focus more easily on training. Benji has learnt a bunch of new tricks and understands a few new words which he never knew before. They are often house trained as well and will naturally go outside to do their business.

THEY ARE CUTE, I PROMISE

You might not think senior dogs are as “cute” as puppies, but they are in their own cute, quirky way. Senior pets might not have that loose puppy skin and cute puppy wobble, but they have their own cute quirks or frosty faces which make them just as adorable.

YOU ARE LITERALLY SAVING A LIFE

Older dogs, especially those who are seniors (7 years and older) are less likely to be rehomed and will either end up living their life in a small, caged kennel at a non-kill shelter or euthanised at a shelter that needs to make room for more unwanted dogs that keep coming in. About 670,000 dogs are euthanised in the US alone each year. That figure is shocking to me. With so many unwanted dogs being brought into shelters each day, the chances of someone wanting an older dog is even less likely. So, you would be giving a little furry soul that lifeline they so desperately need.

Have you adopted an older dog? I would love to hear your story in the comments below!

xoxo

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