Anyone who has ever owned a senior dog can tell you that they are some of the most inspiring, remarkable, and truly magical creatures on earth.
Whether you have had your ol’ pal since he was a puppy and watched him grow throughout the years, or you adopted him later in life in order to give him a comfortable home to retire in, senior dogs seem to have a wealth of knowledge to share with their owners and can often change their lives for the better.
For some senior dogs who end up at the pound, how they ever get to that point – or more importantly why; often remains a mystery. It could be that their owner passed away, or that their family decided to turn them in for a younger pup. Regardless of the situation, what we do know however, is that these creatures are often diamonds in the rough, and deserve better than the hand they’ve been dealt.
Like many senior rescue dogs, it’s likely that the dog you’re about to adopt gave his unwavering love to a family until they let him out into the yard unsupervised, dropped him off on the side of the road, or worse. More often than not however, their love for people will remain unconditional despite what they have gone through, and it will be up to you to show them that it will not be taken in vain!
While some may think that adopting a senior dog can lead to difficulties as they are “stuck in their ways” or have “learned bad habits” those who have actually adopted a senior dog know this to be completely untrue. Many people who have experienced the love of one of these dogs will tell you that it is actually quite the opposite!
Having been loyal for so many years, most senior dogs look to their new families for guidance. They are eager to please and keen on receiving lots of love and affection in return. Senior dogs often know a wide variety of tricks that they have learned throughout the course of their lives, whether taught by their (sometimes multiple) families, or if they have stayed in the shelter for a few months; by the wonderful staff who saw potential in them and tried to stimulate them mentally during their stay.
As a senior, your dog will be chalked full of benefits. He will likely know how to sit, how to stay, how to shake paw. But there are other benefits, on a deeper level. He will love his humans, he will be loyal and very affectionate. He will have soul, look you in the eyes with admiration, and listen to (most) commands because he wants to, not because he feels he has to.
With all of the fundamentals down at their age, seniors are just looking for someone to spend the next decade of their lives with, and they more than deserve it! Any foster parent can attest that it is quite a special experience to bring these dogs into their homes and to discover all of the information they have retained throughout the course of their long lives.
Senior dogs are most often house-broken, meaning that they know when and where to go to the potty. Past the teething stage, senior dogs simply do not have the energy or desire to cause mischief. They will not destroy your home while you are gone, instead choosing to take a nap. They can also typically walk well on leashes, have great recall and snuggle like no one’s business! Senior dogs can make fantastic companions to couch potatoes, gardeners and cottage dwellers alike.
Do you like to take in romantic strolls? Why not take a senior dog along with you! Senior dogs usually like to spend most of their time with their people, taking in the simple pleasures of life and most of all; relaxing, so there is never any pressure to rush around.
They are more often than not great with other dogs, so if you’re looking for a companion for your existing dog, as long as it is not too high energy, then look no further! They are also typically neutered or spayed, up to date on vaccinations and due to their age, can sometimes have a reduced adoption fee.
While their time with you may be short, adopting a senior dog will make all of the difference in the world to your special friend. As a treasured member of your family and friendly to all, your dog may quickly become a neighborhood favorite and no one will want to pass them by without stopping to say hello.
At home, senior dogs usually hit it off instantly with their new siblings, sharing beds and exploring their new yards, bathing in the sun and snuggling up to their parents. Senior dogs are incredibly lovable and are often great with children and grandchildren alike.
Picture the last senior dog you encountered - where they smiling? The answer to this question is most likely, yes! Many senior dogs are just happy to be around their people. They do not require constant energy or attention their way, but are rather just glad to be in good company. Despite their ages, senior dogs remain young at heart and are usually greatly appreciative of their second chances.
Those who adopt senior dogs are truly some of the greatest people on Earth and should be thanked for reaching out to a needy canine during their time of distress, acknowledging the importance of senior adoption and for doing everything that they possibly can to ensure that they know a rich, full, exciting and nurturing life during their stay.
So what are you waiting for? Adopt a senior dog today! Save a life - you won't regret it.