During November, we celebrate Adopt a Senior Dog Month. Most dogs are considered seniors after their 7th year of life, although smaller dogs may lag behind that definition a bit due to their slower maturity rate. Passed over for puppies, senior dogs are usually the last to be adopted in shelters. However, passing up a senior dog means missing many advantages that senior dogs offer when compared to their younger counterparts. Here are six reasons why you should bring a senior dog home this November:
1. Senior dogs are just as cute and lovable as puppies but don’t demand the same levels of energy and patience. Their demeanor and temperament are easy to gauge at the outset, giving you a much clearer picture of their personality than you get with a puppy. They are also past their wild and spirited phase, making them much more relaxing and enjoyable to be around.
2. Senior dogs are generally housebroken and often understand basic obedience commands like sit and stay. They usually are comfortable walking on a leash, playing fetch, and responding when called.
3. Senior dogs are less likely to destroy your favorite leather shoes (or chair!). Puppies possess an innate curiosity that propels them to explore as well as an intrinsic need to chew on things. Older dogs may still need to chew but generally know to go for their toys instead of your TOMS.
4. Older dogs reward their owners with intense loyalty. They often form bonds very quickly with their new owners and are faithful friends for life.
5. You can teach an old dog new tricks! Despite the adage, with the right training and attention, older dogs are just as capable (if not more capable) of learning new skills. They are less distracted during obedience sessions, often have longer attention spans, and possess an eagerness to please that often propels them to grasp new things.
6. You’re saving a life! It takes longer for a senior dog to find a new home and often, older dogs are the first to be euthanized when shelter conditions become overcrowded. By adopting a senior dog, you are providing it with a richer, longer, fuller life. What better gift than that?
If you’ve adopted a senior dog, we want to hear from you! What benefits have you experienced by bringing an older dog into your family?