Why Adopting an Older Dog Is Worth Having Less Time
There is so much excitement with the decision to adopt a new dog. You begin to imagine what you will do together and start to buy too many toys. When you begin your search you find your way to hundreds of puppy photos and stare lovingly at the screen. You then head over to your local shelter’s website (because #adoptdontshop) and suddenly you find that your options are far less broad than expected. It appears that all of the puppies have been adopted and only senior dogs (3 years and up) are available. Your heart sinks. An older dog is not what you had imagined. But why? The fact is, older dogs often have a harder time getting adopted because of their age. People believe that because the dog is mature that they will not get enough time with their new pet until the inevitable happens. Although this may be true to an extent, older dogs may actually have more to offer than puppies! The next time you are planning on adopting a dog, consider adopting an older dog. Here is why:
Puppies are little fur-balls of energy: moving non-stop and distracted by everything. It requires a lot of effort to bond and train puppies because they have so much energy. Older dogs are quite the opposite, they have had their young fun and are ready to listen and settle down. An old dog is content laying around all afternoon, but still loves to go on a long walk with you by their side. Because old dogs have less energy, they are able to focus all of their attention on you – making those bonding moments extra special! Adopting a less-energetic, older dog is a perfect option for:
- Those with busy work lives
- Families with small children
- Retirees looking to settle in
If the puppy energy worries you at all, rescue an older dog that has a calm disposition. You won’t regret it!
As fun as puppies are, everyone who’s had one remembers the terrors that also come along with it: chewed furniture, constantly cleaning up accidents, and working non-stop to teach a puppy the basic commands. Of course, in the end it is all worth it, but during that age it is a lot of hard work. If you decide on adopting an older dog, in most cases you will not have to fight through the training process. Older dogs have life experience and know the basic commands already – making things much simpler in the early days. A senior dog is perfect for those who do not have the patience or time to train a puppy. Instead, you can do all the fun things right away with your new, old dog. Fill your time together with hikes, car rides, going for walks, playing at the dog park – and of course cuddles!
Can Learn New Tricks
If you were looking forward to teaching a puppy all sorts of new tricks, an old dog won’t take that away from you. Whoever came up with the saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” clearly had not tried. Older dogs are just as able as younger dogs to learn new tricks. Of course, with training an older dog, you will have to take a different approach. Instead of giving treats (which is an easy motivator for puppies), you may have to find a new reward, something extra special. You may also have to change the scenery and take it slower. With perseverance, you will find that your old dog can learn just as much as any puppy!
You Know Exactly What You’re Getting
When you adopt a young dog, it is unclear how big he/she will get or what his/her temperament will be. You also do not know if he will have costly medical problems in the future. If you adopt an older dog, you know exactly what to expect. When you meet him, you will know that he will be this size for the rest of his lifetime and you will also know what his personality is like. Some may see identified medical needs as a negative thing, but knowing can keep you prepared. You will be aware of just what this dog needs and can work to treat it and care for him. Whether it is joint pain, heart problems, bad hips, or poor eyesight, it won’t be an unexpected surprise. Not every old dog will have medical needs, but if they do, knowing from the start can help find that dog the perfect caregivers.
One of the best things about adopting an older dog is having no accidents in the house. Because an older dog is already trained, he knows that accidents are not allowed and will tell you when he needs to go out. Additionally, older dogs can be left at home alone longer than puppies. Growing up, puppies need to be let out every few hours, making it difficult for you to get out of the house. Older dogs are fully trained and are old enough they can hold their bladder until you get home. Not only will adopting a senior dog save your carpets, it will be easier for you to carry on your daily routine. No need to worry about rearranging your schedule to go back home every few hours to let a puppy pee!
They Still Have a Lot of Love
One misconception people have about adopting an older dog is that they come with emotional problems. Many assume that they have been mistreated or abused and therefore will be unstable or a handful to deal with. Of course, in some cases there are dogs that have been through trauma and will need special attention, but many do not. These older dogs have been through life and are ready to find their forever home and give all their love to a new family. Old dogs are often very lovable and eager to please, knowing that you were the one who saved them. You chose to bring him home from the shelter, a place no dog should spend their lifetime, and he will forever love you for that!
No dog should die unloved, so why not give your love to an older dog? Let an older dog show you just how amazing love can me – a love that is not limited by time! Even though you may not have those few extra years, the bond you build with your older dog is a relationship you will never forget. If you make an older dog your first choice, be prepared to get some major love!