7 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog – They Need Love Too

7 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog

If you imagine yourself sauntering through an overcrowded dog shelter to find the youngest, cutest little ball of fluff who has just barely opened his eyes, consider this: those elderly dogs with sad, questioning eyes need a loving home too! Adopting a wise, old soul into your family is one of the most rewarding experiences on the planet. Here are seven reasons why you should adopt a senior dog (age seven plus):

1.   Be a Hero – Save a Life!

A trademark of American society is a tiny cold-nosed pup with a red bow perfectly positioned under the Christmas tree, waiting for his new owner. But older dogs have lived through more holiday celebrations and know how to throw a bomb Christmas bash!

Unfortunately, due to the peculiarity of puppy popularity, many of these poor guys who have lost their homes through no fault of their own and never find another family.

The sad truth is that simply because of their age, senior dogs are the first to be euthanized at overpopulated, understaffed shelters. That’s right–healthy dogs are put down to make room for their younger, less experienced peers. When you adopt a senior dog, you not only gain a new, exuberant companion, you become a hero by saving a life!

2.   No Mismatches, No Surprises!

One common reason that owners abandon senior dogs is due to a personality mismatch. If you and Fido have clashing personalities, watch out for trouble! When a puppy morphs into an adult, he may become ultra cuddly, have cat-like independence, or be overly anxious. It’s hard to accurately predict adult temperament from puppy behavior.

When you adopt a senior dog who has attended seminars on finding his authentic self  (okay not really), he will reveal his personality up front. Unlike the mixed bag of online dating, you will know what you are getting yourself into when you adopt an older dog.

And if you have children at home, adopt a senior dog for his cool-as-a-cucumber, predictable temperament.

Here are 7 good reasons to adopt a senior dog rather than a puppy.

3.   Get Some Peace and Quiet

Appreciate the sophisticated maturity and simplified sagacity that comes with age. A senior dog will:

  • Sleep through the night instead of enthusiastically waking you up at 3 am to see if it’s playtime yet
  • Contentedly warm your feet while you read the morning paper
  • Be firmly grounded and refrain from transforming into a yo-yo for the joy of being airborne.

In short, older dogs are much less demanding and hyper than puppies. If you want peace and quiet, go with a senior dog.

4.   Keep Your Tennis Shoes for Years to Come

If the inevitable part of human life is death and taxes, the inevitable part of puppy life is potty and teething. But when you adopt a senior dog, you will gain a companion who already knows the basics.

He knows that shoes are for walking and toys are for chewing. If you have a nice pair of tennies that you want to keep fresh, choose a senior dog who will give your Air Jordans the respect they deserve.

5.   Skip to the Cuddling

Most senior dogs are already trained.  They will respond to basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” “come,” “no,” and maybe even “potty.” (It takes talent to potty on command!) If you’re a novice dog owner or just want to skip straight to the best part (cuddling, of course!), adopting an older dog is your best bet.

6.   Keep Some Money in Your Wallet

Unlike puppies who need a series of initial vet visits for vaccinations and spaying/neutering, a senior dog has already had the basics. Not only that, but a senior dog is less likely to eat your collection of earplugs and souvenir rocks, and if he does, his digestive tract is big enough to spit it out the other end! So no more expensive surgeries!

An added “bone-us”: Older dogs require less chow because they do not have the high metabolism and caloric needs of puppies!

7.   Form an Immediate Bond

Speaking of money, many senior shelter dogs are thousand-dollar breeds who were abandoned after the shiny newness of dog ownership wore off. These dogs may have exceedingly kind, loving temperaments. And after they have recovered from the initial shock of losing their first family, they are more than ready to form a magnetic, immediate bond. Whereas a pup may be aloof and unattached, a wise, old dog will be totally into you.

So whether you’re looking for a dog who bows down to your sleek tennies, or one who will let you get some shut-eye at night, look no further than a senior shelter dog.

They need love too.


“7 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog”

Featured Image: (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Mareshah Haynes)

Here are 7 good reasons to adopt a senior dog rather than a puppy. Old dogs need love too, and a wise old soul is a rewarding experience.Guest Author: Alexandra Seagal

Owner of a beloved cat, and two dogs, Alexandra Seagal believes that successful animal parenting requires knowledge about topics ranging from breed characteristics to healthy nutrition. She created Animalso to be a one-stop-shop for comprehensive information to fuel pet and owner happiness for years to come.




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2 thoughts on “7 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog – They Need Love Too”

  1. That’s so very true. We got Abby Lab as a senior rescue. She had been abandoned at a high kill shelter heartworm positive. I have a bad knee that prevents a lot of walking so I was looking for a laid back low energy dog (we do have a big fenced yard for play). She just fit perfectly into our home and two years later we are ready to adopt another as soon as I retire. Thank you for sharing this. L.B. Johnson – author of The Book of Barkley – Love and Life through the Eyes of a Labrador Retriever

    • I’m glad you adopted Abby, LB. She got lucky there, and so did you. I’m sure she’s the best dog in the world, and forever thankful. Would you be interested in Animal Bliss hosting a Giveaway for your book to help get the word out? If you’re interested, email me at jeanne@animalbliss.com 🙂 Peace


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