Are you at a point in your life where you want to get a dog? That’s great! Dogs quickly become members of the family thanks to their playful and loyal personalities. If you have the time and space, it’s definitely a great decision.
An even better decision than getting a young puppy is adopting an older dog. Senior dogs are typically aged eight years and above (depending on their breed) and have already become accustomed to living with humans. While many people like the idea of getting a small puppy, choosing one of these more senior dogs provides endless rewards. Here are eleven amazing benefits of adopting an old dog.
1. They May Have Been Trained
Don’t underestimate how hard it is to train a dog. A lot of people who get puppies don’t realize how much work it involves, especially regarding teaching them basic commands and going to the toilet outside (rather than in the middle of the lounge). That’s one of the benefits of adopting an older dog—many of them have already been trained. That means they’ll already know the basics, such as to do their business outside and not chew on your slippers.
2. Most are Content and Friendly
A younger pup has endless energy and can sometimes be over-enthusiastic during play. On the other hand, an older dog is typically content and friendly no matter what—as long as they have a comfortable space, good food, and plenty of cuddles. A calmer dog like this can be much more appealing.
3. They Are Often Already Socialized
Most of the time, senior dogs in shelters have already been around humans throughout their lives. They might have even been around children and other pets, making them a much easier addition to your household than a puppy. Of course, remember that some older dogs will require more care and attention to bond with you (especially if their life hasn’t been so pleasant).
4. They Require Fewer Walks
While senior dogs will need walking from time to time, they won’t need as much exercise as a younger pup. That’s because they’re older with less energy. So, if you want to get a dog but are worried you won’t have enough time for all the walks, an older pup can be the perfect option.
5. There is Less of a Time Commitment
Most people don’t have endless time in the day to care for a puppy. Puppies are hard work; some people even compare them to looking after children! An untrained puppy will poop inside, chew your furniture, and run circles around you. To ensure they grow into a well-behaved dog, you’ll need to spend a lot of time training them and playing with them until their energy runs out. You won’t need to dedicate as much time to an older dog, however.
While it’s not nice to think about it, older dogs are also not as much of a time commitment in terms of years as they are at the later end of life. That means you can look after a dog, giving them the best years they’ve ever had, without wondering whether you will still have the time to spare in ten-plus years. With this in mind, getting customized pet insurance when you have an older dog is always a good idea. With a customizable plan, you can ensure the insurance covers a range of accidents and conditions that your dog might go through. It’s always good for unexpected costs to be covered.
6. You Can Learn About Their Personality Beforehand
Getting a puppy is a bit like potluck: you never truly know what kind of dog you’re going to get! The same can’t be said for adopting an older dog, however. The shelter will have information about the senior dog’s past, which will help paint a picture of his or her personality. Before you’ve even taken your dog home, you’ll know their likes, dislikes, favorite foods, and much more!
7. You’ll Avoid the Destruction of a Puppy
A puppy might seem like fun and games, but their energy can be pretty overwhelming! That’s especially true in the early years when they aren’t properly trained and like to chew on sofas, slippers, and even your toes. By getting an older dog, you won’t have to deal with this.
8. Many Senior Dogs Are Waiting for Homes
Often, the younger pups at the shelter usually get picked first, leaving the older dogs waiting for homes. When you go to a shelter, you are sure to see several dogs over the age of six who have lots of love to give! If you want to help reduce the number of dogs waiting for homes, picking a senior pup is the way to go.
9. They’re Perfect for Older People
Are you getting on in years? If you’re a dog lover but don’t have as much energy as you did in your twenties, thirties, or forties, an older dog might be the perfect companion for you. With their calm temperament and love for snuggles, you won’t have to worry about chasing them around—you can save your energy while enjoying the company of a loyal pup.
10. You Might Get a Discount on a Senior Dog
Some people are turned away by the high cost of adoption fees, especially when owning a dog involves many other expenses. If you’re looking to save money when getting a dog, keep in mind that specific shelters offer a discount on senior dogs, meaning you won’t have to pay as much to adopt them. Usually, this helps older dogs find loving homes sooner.
11. Senior Dogs Deserve Love
Many people decide to buy or adopt the youngest dogs. While that makes sense for some, many senior dogs get left without a home. It’s unfortunate, as senior dogs deserve just as much love as puppies! They are kind, loyal, and simply need a warm, caring, and loving home. If you can give that to them, you’ll end up with an endlessly appreciative and loyal dog.