When thinking of adopting a dog, the immediate picture that comes to mind is a cute little puppy. We all seem to forget how much work it takes to care for a puppy – housetraining, chewing, sleepless nights and constant cleaning. Senior dogs can be an immediate joyful addition to a household – without all the work.
Although there are many reasons that senior dogs are given up, common ones include owner illness or no longer being able to financially afford a dog. Not all mature dogs have problems and many times you can find an instant family friend.
1. Save a Life
Let’s face it, senior dogs are often overlooked and left to live out the rest of their lives in shelters (or much worse in some cases). You can only feel good about rescuing an older dog and helping him live out his final days in love and comfort. Yes, you may not have as much time together as you would with a puppy, but the joy of seeing a mature dog enjoy his last years is a reward in itself.
2. Established Personality
When you meet your new senior dog, you can see what you are going to get. His size and personality have become stable as he matured. The dog will probably relax over time as he settles into your home, but there shouldn’t be any big surprises like having a sweet puppy that grows into a barking maniac within a year.
3. The Puppy Phase is Over
Older dogs have grown out of the chewing, nipping, and jumping phase. This can be a real advantage for families that have young children. Older dogs are often calmer and more patient with other pets and children.
4. Built-in Training
More often than not, senior dogs have been trained by their previous owner. They may not have perfect manners, but old dogs CAN learn new tricks. You can always teach your new dog how you want him to behave, but it is a definite bonus if he comes housebroken, knows basic commands, and even a few tricks of his own.
5. Less Exercise Required
Not everyone is capable of addressing the needs of an energetic dog. Most older dogs require less exercise than younger dogs, which may be ideal for busy families or older people who don’t mind walking a dog but are not up for a run every day to get the young dog craziness out. If you like to cuddle on the couch rather than constantly throw a ball, a senior dog might be the perfect companion.
Puppies are not for everyone, and for practical reasons just won’t work with a lot of lifestyles. A senior dog comes with a lot of benefits and can be the perfect solution for anyone looking for a loyal companion.