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Adopting a dog senior: Even our older dog friends need home and love

author Lucy Byrne | Care and raising

Adopting a dog senior might save his life. They also need stable home and love which unfortunately can never be fully provided in the shelter. Nevertheless, most people who are considering adoption as an option automatically look for a puppy or at least a young dog.

We intuitively associate many prejudices with dog seniors. We are afraid of more demanding care and of the fact we would have to say goodbye after a short period of time. However, the dog shelters are full of healthy and active dog seniors (according to many vets, a dog senior is considered to be from fifth to seventh years of age – it depends on the size, of course).

I was the same when I first adopted a dog from a shelter. I chose a puppy. Now, I am thinking of doing something good and making our pack bigger.

I tried to summarize a few advantages why it is good to adopt an older dog. Experience with the adoption of older dogs confirms that they will be great pets and companions as well as younger dogs.

  • Older dogs are not necessarily “problematic” as many people think. Some of them might have been put aside by their owners who were not able to take care of them any more from various reasons (the change in the health conditions or generally life conditions, a new baby in the family, a household member’s allergy or simple inexperience, etc.).

  • Older dogs usually know basic commands. This way, you will save time and energy you would otherwise have to devote to train your puppy or a young dog. But the saying “you can't teach an old dog new tricks” also doesn’t hold true. If the dog is in good mental and physical condition, it can learn new things its whole life.

  • Older dogs are generally much calmer. They are great with children. They don’t have sharp teeth puppies usually have, won’t wake you up in the middle of the night because they want their ball or to pee and they won’t chew your furniture.

  • Older dogs are loyal and devoted companions for both good and bad times. They have gone through a lot themselves so they don't get easily upset. You can go for a walk with them without a leash. They will guard you and won’t run away for no reason.

  • By taking an older dog into your family, you don’t only provide it with a better life but you can also save it from potential early euthanasia. However, this is really an extreme case which is known more from foreign countries than from the Czech Republic.

There are definitely a few disadvantages I don’t have to describe in greater detail here. The today’s article is not about them. All people who have ever had a dog know that it’s not easy when a dog is old as well as when a person is old. In spite of that, each beautiful moment with your companion will definitely be worth it.

Do you have any experience with adopting a dog senior? What other reason for adopting an older dog come to your mind?