Thinking about adopting? Here's why giving an older dog a forever home is so rewarding.
When you're preparing to welcome a new furry addition to the family, it's no surprise that many prospective dog owner's first choice will be a puppy.
Puppies are cute, energetic and have their whole lives ahead of them, so of course adopting a younger dog is a very rewarding experience.
But perhaps even more rewarding, is giving a senior dog a second chance at life.
Puppies are a lot of fun, but they are also a lot of work and need a lot of attention, so an older dog can be a perfect choice for someone looking for a more laid back companion.
As Adopt a Senior Dog month is coming to an end, we wanted to share 6 of the best reasons why giving a senior dog a home is an amazing choice.
1. What you see is what you get
Unlike a brand new puppy, when adopting an older dog, they have already developed into who they are going to be - meaning a lot fewer surprises!
You’ll know from the beginning the important things like their personality, temperament, full-grown size and grooming requirements, so you can choose a pup that is the perfect match for your lifestyle.
2. They are often already trained
Another benefit to adopting a senior dog is that they've already learned many of life's lessons, so are quick to understand what you're asking from them.
They will likely already be housebroken, know how to walk on a leash, and know what not to chew - meaning your expensive shoes should be safe!
Older dogs, especially those who've experienced love and affection previously, will also try to please you by being obedient and showing good house manners.
Senior dogs are a great choice for first time pet owners as, according to HillsPet.com, "you can start with basic training, for the skills he might not already possess, but the amount won't be as rigorous as it is with puppies. Adopting a senior dog helps you ease into pet parenthood without all of the overwhelming care and attention that a puppy needs."
3. They have so much love left to give
You may not get 15 years with a senior dog, but what you will get is complete love and devotion for however many years they have left.
Many say that when you look into a rescued senior dog's eyes, you see a pup who knows they've been saved, and a dog that is eager and ready to show their gratitude everyday for as long as they live.
According to the BC SPCA, most seniors dogs at one point "were cared for and loved by someone else; they know what love, loyalty and companionship is all about. Spending their golden years in a loving home will not only prove enriching for them, but for you, too!"
4. Seniors are less demanding
All dogs need time and attention, but a senior dog won't run you ragged to the same extent as a new puppy will.
Senior dogs still need physical activity, but in the same way they enjoy a brisk daily walk, they are also very content to curl up and cuddle with their owner.
According to HillsPet.com, because they don't demand as much attention and care from their human family as puppies do, "senior dogs are an excellent choice for someone who is a little more laid back and looking for a cuddle buddy on the couch. Adopting an older dog gives pet parents exactly the energy level they are looking for in a furry friend."
5. It's easier to teach an old dog new tricks
Ironically, despite the very well known saying, senior dogs can actually be taught new tricks just as easily, if not better, than puppies.
Not only are senior dogs just as smart and trainable as puppies, according to Ontario SPCA, "senior dogs tend to be calmer and have better attention spans compared to younger dogs, making them easier to train."
6. You are truly saving a life
According to Dogtime, senior dogs spend nearly four times as long on pet adoption websites before finding homes, and for many of these older dogs, they may not have that kind of time.
Animal Shelter Statistics show that Canadian dog shelters took in almost 30,000 dogs in 2018, and unfortunately not all of those pups will find homes.
In overcrowded shelters, older dogs are often among the first to be euthanized, so by opening your home, and heart, to a senior dog you are literally saving their life.
Giving an older dog a second chance at life, to enjoy the rest of their years knowing that they are worthy of love, is one of the most beautiful things you could ever do.