If you’re thinking of adopting a dog, consider adopting a senior dog. Senior dogs teach us that life is too short not to love with all your heart.
1. You Can Save A Life. The decision to adopt a senior dog could literally save his or her life. Sadly, most shelters are full to capacity with animals who need homes. Statistically, senior dogs are less likely to get adopted and are generally the first to get euthanized, especially if they are in poor health. The statistics on homeless pets in shelters are absolutely heartbreaking, but the decision to adopt a shelter pet is one small step to lowering those numbers and easing the burden of shelters who have to make impossible choices to give each pet the best opportunity they can. Giving a senior dog the opportunity to live out his or her remaining years in the comfort of your home would give that dog a new lease on life and make room for another animal in the shelter to find a home. You could be that dog’s hero.
2. Old Dogs Have Old Tricks. There is a misconception that older dogs end up in shelters due to behavioral issues but that is largely untrue. Most older dogs end up in shelters through no fault of their own, often because their owners pass away or are no longer able to care for them. Older dogs in shelters already have mastered tricks that younger dogs have to be taught through patience and training. They are generally house trained and already familiar with what is acceptable in the home. And despite the saying, older dogs have longer attention spans so they can indeed learn new tricks.
3. Seniors Are Low Maintenance. Apart from extra visits to the vet or medications, senior dogs don’t have many demands. They are happy with short walks and minimal play, and are content to rest and relax with you. All they really want is to feel what it’s like to have a home again, and they will love you for the rest of their days.
4. Older Dogs Make Quick Companions. For someone searching for an animal for companionship, they need look no further than the senior residents of their local shelter. Puppies are wonderful, but to them, the world is still new and exciting. They might not have the patience to settle down and sit on the porch with you, or relax in the sun like an older dog will. Senior dogs make wonderful companions, especially for older people who don’t have the energy for a younger dog.
5. A Dog’s Love Lasts Forever. Often, people avoid adopting older dogs because they can’t see themselves investing the emotional effort and time into an older dog knowing that their time on this earth might not be long. Grieving a pet is every bit grieving a loved one, and they want to be spared the pain. But for most, the joy of inviting a dog into your home far outweighs the sorrow when they pass. Even when they leave us, they live on in our memories and in our hearts. If that’s what you find holding you back from adopting an older dog, take time to reflect on what it would really mean to that dog to have a second chance again. In the end, you’ll find it’s more than worth it.
Are you convinced yet? Visit your local shelter to meet your new best friend!