Are you looking for a sweet, gentle companion to join your family? A senior dog might just be the perfect fit. Though people tend to get excited over puppies, seniors are just as cute, and there’s many reasons why you might be better off with a more “experienced” canine companion.
1. You’ll Clean Up Fewer Accidents, If Any.
Many senior dogs available for adoption have already been house-trained, and will need no more than a few days to adjust to your home. Some may have been given up because their previous owners failed to housetrain them, but these are often very fixable issues that can be resolved with a housetraining schedule. Even senior dogs that were never house-trained typically learn quickly because their bodies are fully developed.
2. Your Dog May Come With A Few Tricks.
Your new companion may have learned fun tricks in their previous home. Also, keep in mind that it is not true that an old dog can’t learn new tricks – as long as they are able-bodied, dogs of any age can learn, and can even begin to participate in activities like nosework and obedience.
3. Many Seniors, But Not All, Have Low Energy Levels.
Having a puppy is hectic. They tend to get hyper and bite fingers while they’re still learning to play gently. Some senior dogs have a few more active years in them, and can still enjoy long hikes, though many others only need a leisurely walk, and will be happy to spend most of their time on the couch. Senior dogs can be great for people with disabilities and those with long work hours.
4. Senior Dogs Will Not Outgrow Your Home.
Mixed breed puppies of unknown origin can sometimes grow bigger than you expected. A senior dog will have already finished growing, which means their collar, harness and bed will fit for the rest of their life.
5. Senior Dogs Have Already Developed A Personality.
Puppies tend to go through fear periods in which they suddenly become fearful of things they once tolerated. It can be difficult to tell if a puppy will tolerate other pets in your home. A senior dog that chases cats will probably never be able to live with them, and a senior dog that enjoys being around children will continue to do so unless they have an exceptionally traumatizing experience.
6. You’ll Save On Vet Bills.
Though some senior dogs come with expensive pre-existing conditions like diabetes, many are in good health, and will have already had all of their core vaccinations, will already be spayed or neutered and checked for heartworm disease. Once your dog is a senior, they’ll typically need one yearly senior checkup, possibly with minimum database testing, for example, bloodwork, urinalysis and a heartworm test.
7. Every Senior Has A Story.
Some senior dogs are rescued from puppy mills, having been used to breed puppies their entire lives. Others are picked up on the street and may have a mysterious past. Your dog could also be an owner surrender, or their previous owner may have died. Seniors tend to be the most grateful, well-behaved dogs, happy just to have a wonderful human to curl up next to while they relax and enjoy their golden years.