The Benefits of Adopting a Senior Dog

Adopting a dog poses the question if you should adopt a puppy, a younger dog, or a senior dog. While naturally, people tend to adopt puppies or younger dogs they can grow and be with for a long time, it doesn’t exclude the fact that older dogs are great adoption options. Senior dogs have several benefits that make them suitable for adoption. If you’re on the fence about adopting a senior dog, then you’ve come to the right place to clear up your doubt. Read on to discover the five benefits of adopting a senior dog!

1. Senior dogs have a calmer temperament

Senior dogs have a calmer temperament since they’ve shed most of their energies during their puppy days. Older dogs don’t feel the need to explore everything or chew on furniture, carpets, and shoes, which translates to less destruction. With the teething days behind them, and having grown out of old habits, senior dogs are calmer and chill.

Many senior dogs still have lots of energy, only theirs are less overwhelming and destructive. According to a published study in Scientific Reports reported by nbcnews, dogs have less need to explore new situations and objects the older they get. This means that if you seek a calmer dog, a more mature dog is your best bet!

2. Caring for an Older Dog is easier and less demanding

When you adopt a dog, caring for dogs requires effort, time, and patience. It may end up becoming a full-time job. Many adult dogs have already experienced basic training or been cared for at some point. An adult dog most likely has a basic understanding of commands; hence, can respond to simple commands well. An older dog is also more receptive to newer commands due to the experience of learning and responding to commands from previous training.

Potty training, feeding, cleaning, and walking are easier and less demanding with an older dog. There’s no need for hyper-vigilance during the teething and housebreaking stages, which come with caring for puppies and younger dogs. Due to socialization from care from previous owners, or training from shelters or care centers, there’re more positive interactions with older dogs.

3. Bonding with an Elderly Dog is almost instant

Many elderly dogs are adopted via a rescue group, or from a shelter of lost pets. Because these dogs have experienced socialization and bonding with humans before, they tend to easily bond with whoever gets to adopt them. Elderly dogs can almost instantly bond with you, as they see you as a lifesaver, and are eager to bond and settle into their new, loving home. They are highly appreciative of the care and affection they receive and usually show it with frequent cuddles, licks, and closeness. Elderly dogs have a fully developed personality, so you can get more information about them prior to adoption. This way, you can know if they're the right dog for you and can adapt and bond with them almost instantly.

4. You can save money by adopting an Older Dog

Many adoption centers and shelters waive adoption fees for elderly dogs, especially for senior citizens adopting them. You will discover that adoption fees cost less for senior citizens that adopt senior dogs that are 7-10 years and older at shelters and animal care centers including this one in the Greater Toronto Area. Aside from the adoption fees, vet costs for a senior dog are less compared to those of a puppy, whose first-year vet costs can amount to thousands of dollars.

Since older dogs would rarely get bigger, there’re no additional costs of purchasing bigger pens or creating more room for your dog. If you're seeking an affordable adoption, go for an older dog, it checks all the lists!

5. You can become a hero when you adopt a Senior Dog

Because people naturally flock to puppies and younger dogs for adoption, senior dogs tend to be left behind. This makes them spend most of their golden years at a shelter when they could be enjoying it just like the younger dogs. Not to mention that some don’t get to be adopted and end up living at the shelter until their death. In the United States, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (ASPCA), the adoption rate for older dogs is 25%, while for puppies and younger dogs, it’s 60%. This means that there’s a need for more adoption of senior dogs, and that need extends to Canada as well.

By adopting a senior dog, you will be saving the dogs through the provision of the comfort of a home, companionship of others, and happiness from being cared for and loved. Also, as the hero, you get to have many snuggles, licks, and appreciation from your older dog in return. Besides, one less senior dog at the care center or shelter, one more free space for another dog to get rescued!

Overall, it’s safe to say that by adopting a senior dog what you get back is worth more than its weight in gold.