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Is Adopting an Older Dog a Good Idea?

Is Adopting an Older Dog a Good Idea?

Looking to adopt a dog? Pet shelters have been seeing a rise in pet adoptions thanks to the power of social media. Even senior dogs are finding new homes much faster than before. If you wish to bring some purpose and joy into your life, adopting an older dog from a shelter can actually be an excellent decision.

Why Older Dogs Make Amazing Pets

Is adopting an older dog a good idea? Puppies are cute, no doubt. But they require meticulous care. Older dogs require less maintenance and are just as amazing pets for many reasons. You think that getting an older dog might require a lot of work. This is not always the case.


Consider the reasons why senior or adult dogs end up in a shelter: these often include owners relocating, passing away, or having financial trouble. Sometimes, owners give up their dogs at an advanced age because they are inconvenienced. Dogs in shelters are often depressed or anxious. They reach a certain age and all of a sudden, they’re abandoned by their families. Imagine how happy an older dog would feel if he’s given another chance to have a family and a home. It’s true that an older dog only gets to spend a short amount of time with you. But, if you adopt an older dog, he gets to spend his remaining days someplace where he is loved and valued.


Adopting an older dog from a breeder means getting a pet with a calm temperament and better manners overall. Younger pups tend to be excitable and require a lot more time to be trained. On the other hand, most older dogs would already have undergone obedience training and enough socialization. Many of them are well-mannered in basic situations. But you know what’s even better? Dogs of all ages can be taught new tricks, even older ones. You can definitely look forward to lots of quality time together.


Benefits of Adopting an Older Dog

It’s true that taking home an older dog from the shelter comes with risks. You may even expect to encounter some behavioral problems, especially if the dog suffers from anxiety due to abandonment, abuse, or neglect. However, it’s different with every dog and regardless of age, all dogs need to be given proper attention and training. Even if a rescue dog is prone to misbehaving, there’s still a lot to be gained from adopting an older dog:


1.     Form a deep connection

Just because they’re older doesn’t mean that they’re incapable of love and affection. On the contrary, an older dog that gets rescued would be grateful for being given a second chance to be with a loving family. His heart would welcome you and he would give you everything he’s got left.


2.     They often come house-trained

Training is one of the main concerns for people who are considering adopting an older dog vs a puppy. But did you know that when you adopt a senior dog, there’s a very good chance that he’s had some basic training in his younger years. A lot of older dogs know the basic commands and would be more than happy to be rewarded with treats for good behavior.


3.     Older dogs are less demanding

Looking to adopt an older dog? Older dogs aren’t as rowdy or energetic as puppies. Taking them out for a brisk walk daily and sitting with them as they take a nap would often be more than enough to keep them happy. In terms of feeding, adult dogs need to be fed no more than twice a day, as opposed to a puppy’s more rigorous feeding schedule.


4.     What you see is what you get

It’s easier to get to know an older dog, as opposed to a puppy that, has yet to mature and develop its own personality. Choosing the best dog to take home with you is easier. You can easily ask the staff at the shelter about the personality and quirks of any dog you’re interested in adopting.

5.     You get to save a life

Older dogs are less likely to be adopted than puppies. A lot of older dogs that are unable to find new homes are put to sleep. By taking in an older rescue dog, you get to dramatically change the life of a loyal and loving creature. You help an older dog escape a life in confinement and give him a chance to bring joy to your life as well.


Tips for Adopting an Older Dog 

Adopting an older dog comes with unique challenges but it’s not as difficult as you might expect. If you’re interested in adopting an older dog and saving an innocent life, here are some things to remember:


·    Where can I adopt an older dog? Visit a nearby shelter where you can choose your older canine companion. You can talk to the shelter’s staff regarding their assessment of a dog you’re interested in. Find out how the dog is around people or other animals.


·    Before taking a dog home, you may want to spend a day getting to know him first, and letting himself get familiar with you. Another way to find out if the dog is a good match is by offering to foster a dog in your home for a period of time.


·     Older dogs may incur additional expenses for age-related health conditions like arthritis, heart murmurs, or hearing/ vision loss. Take this into consideration when choosing a rescue dog.


·     When it’s time to take your new dog home, make sure he’s always comfortable. Provide him with his own safe space and make sure he has everything he needs. Take him on a tour of your home and socialize your dog with members of your household, but remember to take it slowly.


·  Some common misbehaviors among older rescue dogs include vocalizing, chewing, separation anxiety, jumping up when greeting, and household accidents. If the dog you adopted isn’t housetrained, don’t lose heart. Apply some basic training techniques to encourage good behavior. It also helps to know how to deal with dog anxiety.


When you decide to adopt an older dog, it certainly comes with its own challenges. But if you can afford patience and know, how to adjust your expectations, the rewards of taking in an older canine pet would be a lot more than you can count. The experience may not be entirely smooth, especially in the beginning. But an older dog can be the most loyal and reliable companion if you just give him a chance.


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