Skip to main content

Older dogs get overlooked in shelters much too often; People often prefer the younger, cuter pups, but senior dogs need just as much love and care, too.

If you are thinking of adopting a senior dog, there are a few things you should be aware of. These canines operate much differently than younger breeds but will love their new owners more deeply than any other dog can. 

The Pros

Just like everything, there are pros and cons to adopting a senior dog. Older dogs can still bring just as much, even more joy and happiness into your life than a puppy can. Here are the benefits of adding a senior dog to your family. 

They Have Decreased Energy

Usually, with older dogs, you do not have to worry about your favorite shoe being destroyed, or your dog getting the zoomies and running around like a maniac. Excessive barking and hyperactivity are relatively much calmer or nonexistent in older dogs. 

Every dog starts to have its energy levels lessen over time, so by adopting a senior dog, you do not have to worry about finding time to release their energy. If you are someone who loves a quiet night lounging on the couch, a senior dog will relax with you and give you all the cuddles. 

They Are Most Likely Potty Trained

Another benefit to adopting a senior dog is that most of them are potty trained either thanks to their previous owner or those at the shelter. If you have ever owned a puppy, you may be familiar with the frustration of potty training. With senior dogs, there should be little to no accidents waiting for you when you get home. Their age has helped them settle out of these destructive habits which makes living together easier for you. If your senior dog is not potty trained, it can be an easy fix! 

You Are Giving A Dog Love

The best part of adopting a senior dog is knowing you are giving an older canine a second chance at love. There are many reasons why older dogs are placed in shelters. It could be anything from the owner surrendering them due to lack of funds or time, the owner passed away, or the pup was rescued from an abusive home. 

Because of their age, most senior dogs are overlooked in shelters, and the stigma that puppies are a more desirable addition to families does not improve their chance of being adopted. By choosing a senior dog, you would give an older pet a second chance at a happy and meaningful life.

The Cons

While it is great to adopt a senior dog and give them a loving home, there are still considerations you should be aware of before determining if adopting a senior dog is right for you.

There May Be Health Issues

Sadly, many older dogs begin to face health issues as they get older. Almost every breed has specific issues they are prone to developing as they age, and some of these conditions can come from certain situations in their past. 

With that being said, adopting a senior dog can cause you financial strain if they will require frequent trips to the vet, medicine, or emergency surgeries. Before you commit to the adoption, you need to request information about the dog to help you know about any preexisting conditions. If there are none, you could do your research to see what you may face in the future.

If the dog is below ten years old, you may have some time before you have to start worrying about the decline of their health.

You Might Have To Retrain Them

There can be immense benefits inherent in adopting a dog who may already be housetrained and well beyond the puppy chewing and adolescent stages. However, many senior dogs might be more difficult to house retrain, especially after they have been used to a certain routine. But this doesn’t mean they won’t catch on. You can teach an older dog how to behave in your home, and senior dogs require just as much grace as younger pups do.

It Might be a Short Relationship

It is important to know that adopting a senior dog means that the relationship you develop with them may be short-lived. The longest lifespan for a dog is typically somewhere around 15 years, 20 if the dog stays in shape and healthy. 

If you adopt a dog that is ten years old or older, there is a possibility you will only get to spend a few years with them before they cross the rainbow bridge. It can be a sad time, but there are always pet memorials you can find to help you honor your senior dog and keep their memories alive.

Keeping this in mind is very important because losing a pet can be devastating. Knowing from the beginning that your relationship with your senior dog may be short-lived can hopefully lessen the pain and help you with the grieving process.

The Bottom Line

Adopting a senior dog is a very special thing to do. Senior dogs are very gentle and loving animals who are looking for a warm home to be a part of. Anyone can adopt a senior dog, but it’s important to look at all the factors before making the final decision. 

If you are ready to open your heart to the unconditional love of a senior dog, consider adopting one from your local shelter today. These gentle companions are waiting to find their forever homes that will provide them the love and care they need while living the best they can, out of the remaining time they have. 

photo cred:

Love our content? Share it with a friend or link it to social media. Like short clips of cute household pets? Training tips? Follow us on instagram @nydognanny or on YouTube at nydognanny.  Have some news you needs to get to dog and cat parents stat?  Email with your article pitch.

Skip to content