When people decide it's time to adopt a dog, most go to breeders or shelters searching for a puppy. But have you ever thought about picking up a senior dog instead? If you haven't, it's time to consider this option.
Adopting a senior offers many benefits. Yes, it'll definitely be a unique challenge versus bringing a younger pet home. But adding an older pup to your home can lead to a fulfilling, rewarding, and potentially life-changing experience.
No matter the age, every single dog deserves a safe home. Usually, though, senior pups get passed up for their younger and livelier counterparts. A sad fact of life is that commitment with them isn't as long as with a puppy, so people tend to shy away from adoption due to this heartache. But these are the dog's golden years, and this time should be filled with love.
A senior's life has likely seen some tragedy. They're in a shelter for a reason, and this can be anything from their owner passing away to someone abandoning them. While you won't have them for a decade or two, the brief life you'll spend with your companion will be precious. They'll get to have all the love you can give condensed into a loving, happy timeframe.
Senior dogs are appreciative. They know where they came from and that you chose to take them away from the situation. You rescued them, so you are their champion. Therefore, they're prepared to give it their all when it comes to loving you in return. Immediately, they develop a bond with you since you saved them. As long as they're alive, they'll be loyal and protective. This is their way of saying thanks.
Senior dogs have been there and done that already. They've lived life, so they know the deal. A new setting to them will be different, but they can handle it with grace and ease. There's a high likelihood that your furry friend will take to your home in no time at all.
Contrary to popular belief, older dogs can be taught new tricks. Ironically, they'll actually learn them faster than a puppy. Seniors are docile compared to youngsters, so their calm attitude allows them to focus on you and what you're attempting to convey. Plus, through life experience, they have learned how to read humans, so they'll soon figure out what you're trying to say.
Though there's the rare exception with a high-energy breed, most canines do less as they age. Seniors don't require the level of exercise that a puppy or younger dog must have. Of course, playtime and an occasional walk are needed and appreciated, but you likely will not have to put forth any additional effort.
Especially if you have a busy life, an older pooch is the perfect companion. You won't have to devote an hour or two to physical activity every day. Your doggie will tell you when they want to play or romp around, and they'll equally let you know when they're spent and ready for a nap.
The odds are good that an adopted senior is already housetrained. And if not, they pick up on it much faster than a younger dog. Unless there's some sort of physical problem, seniors are also able to go longer between bathroom outings. You don't want to put a dog in this situation, but if something suddenly occurs, your dog will typically be okay waiting a few extra minutes for potty time.
A senior dog isn't inclined to destroy the house or chew on furniture if they don't get attention: they understand that humans have other things to do besides waiting on them hand and foot. You won't have to monitor them constantly, and they don't require the upkeep and maintenance puppies demand. Plus, their nutritional provisions are way more relaxed than what a growing dog needs.
Yes, senior companions desire love, cuddles, and affection. Yet they're more than okay with a little alone time, too. They're mellow, chilled-out, and want to relax. They'll let you know if they get hit with a sudden burst of motivation. And if you're not around, they already know how to entertain themselves.
When you bring home a puppy, there are a lot of unknowns. How large are they going to get? What will their personality be like? Will they be good with kids or other pets? Are there going to be a lot of grooming requirements? Does the dog have any food or other allergies? Will they bark often or only on occasion?
These and other questions can't be answered with a younger dog. However, seniors have already established who they are and how they'll act. They've reached full size, medical issues are usually known, and the type of care they'll need is apparent. This will help you select which senior is the perfect match for your home and family.
Sadly, senior dogs have a high rate of euthanization in shelters. They're the last to be adopted and the first to be put down. No animal deserves to be in a shelter, but unfortunately, this is an unavoidable part of reality.
Adopting a senior companion allows you to play a part in saving an animal's life. Be a hero to them: adoption is a great option.
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