Adopting a senior dog can be a very rewarding experience. As I strolled through our local SPCA I noticed people heading for the puppies and the kittens as yes they are cute and playful.
But are you ready for the round the clock care a puppy would take? Is your family on board or will it all end up on you with the middle of the night pee breaks for your puppy as you house train him?
Yes puppies can be rewarding, after you put in all the effort such as the paper training, then house training, then obedience school and the chewed furniture. But sometimes it would be nice to get a dog that is house trained, knows his basic commands and doesn't leave an endless pile of dirty newspapers and rolls of toilet paper around the house.
Yes, they will have to get used to you, but most senior dogs (dogs over 7 years old) still have lots of love to give without the aggravation of a puppy. Just think how nice it would be to give an older dog a "forever home". They have most likely ended up in the shelter due to owner illness or death as most people do not give up their family members later in life unless there is a crisis.
Basic Tips for Adopting Senior Dogs
Hopefully you can work with the shelter to find out the history of the pooch. He or she has most likely been "fixed" and most knowledgeable shelters can tell you if the breed of this pooch is suitable for you especially if you have kids.
I myself have an older dog (pictured) and their needs are a little different. Depending on their age, you won't be running for miles with them and they will tire easily but will give you unconditional love in return and lots of snuggle time as they are not as twitchy as a puppy. You can still teach an old dog new tricks, just be patient.
Smaller breeds can live for a much longer time than larger breeds, so find out as much information as you can and since most shelters have the older animals in their care for longer, they will be familiar with the habits of the particular dog you are looking at. They will already have personalities and habits that you will have to work with, but this could be a rewarding experience as you give them a loving retirement.
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