Did you ever think of adopting a senior dog as a form of recycling? It sure is, and it can help everyone involved! If you bring a senior dog into your life through adoption, you help shelters by cutting down on the senior dog population that will, in many cases, be euthanized more quickly than younger dogs or puppies.. You help a senior dog get a new lease on life. Best of all, you get a loving and grateful companion.
So why do so many people pick puppies? Puppies are cute, no matter what breed or size or color, and in most cases they get adopted quickly and easily. Puppies are cute for a reason, so we put up with their antics and lack of brains until they become complete dogs. Why not get the full package immediately?
Often, people are afraid to adopt an older dog because of the cost. People assume that an older dog will automatically have health problems that will have to be dealt with by a vet and that means money out of pocket. In reality, when you adopt a young puppy, you are putting money out for him or her as well. There are shots, shots again, spaying and neutering, and yearly checkups. Let’s not forget the ruined shoes, gallons of pet stain remover, and new furniture.
Another deterrent in adopting a senior dog is the dog’s history. The fear of the unknown, it could be called. No one wants to find out that the dog they adopted endured physical or mental abuse and now snaps at and cowers from tall men or women with glasses, or who knows what. Granted, dogs can’t tell you what their stories are, but nothing is insurmountable. Patience, training, and plain old-fashioned love can take care of lots of issues with dogs. Plus, no one can assure you of your new puppy’s future either…unfortunately.
There are major benefits to adopting older dogs.
Older dogs tend to have calmer temperaments than their younger counterparts. Let’s face it, puppies are like kids….they have boundless amount of energy and go from 0 to 100 in mere seconds. If you aren’t up to the challenge of a young dog, then an older dog is definitely for you! While older dogs still need exercise, they love a long nap and a good chin scratch.
With an older dog, what you see is what you get. There are occasions when puppies grow up to look nothing like what anyone thought they were supposed to look like. A puppy that looks like it’s going to stay small may grow up to be over 100 pounds! With a senior dog, you already know what you’ve got.
Many older dogs have already lived in a house environment and are housebroken. What a bonus…no housebreaking! That also means no chewed up shoes, furniture or other important things. Older dogs are long past the teething stage.
Senior dogs will let you get a good night’s sleep. Older dogs settle into a routine easily, and that includes bathroom visits and bedtimes. They are accustomed to human schedules and don’t need feeding, comforting, or potty breaks at 2 a.m. Their bladders are bigger too!
Older dogs listen better (hopefully) and mind better. Older dogs are more mellow and learn more easily. If they’ve had any kind of human interaction, that means they have had some training, whether it be on purpose or even by accident. Older dogs just “get it..”
So why not give a senior dog a great home for the twilight years of his life? You will reap much more than you sow in love, gratitude and better health than you can imagine. Your time with your senior dog may be shorter than with a puppy, but in many instances you have given an older dog a second chance at a loving, happy family and home. Adopting a senior dog truly is the purest form of recycling!
“Old dogs, like old shoes, are comfortable – they may be a bit out of shape and worn around the edges, but they fit so well.” –Bonnie Wilcox, “Old Dogs, Old Friends”
Thanks to Roberta Beach, Silverwalk Hounds Dog Sanctuary, for her help with this article. www.silverwalk.petfinder.com
submitted by Stacy L. Busch