November 18, 2021 4 min read 1 Comment
The time is right, you’re ready to welcome a new pup into your home. Exciting times! If you’re a fan of Grounds & Hounds, you’re probably the type of person who’s got petfinder bookmarked and local rescues in your favorite contacts. But before you head out to browse some used pups, take a moment to consider what kind of dog you want to add to your house. May we suggest adopting a senior dog? There are a ton of great reasons to rescue a senior… and here are 7 of them.
It’s a fact that adoption saves two lives. You’re rescuing the pup that comes home with you and the one that occupies the shelter space she just freed up. But adopting a senior pup can multiply that number.
Senior pets often languish in the shelter for up to four times longer than younger pets. Why? Many older dogs are overlooked in favor of younger pets because, hey, puppies are adorable. But by adopting a senior, you’ll free up shelter space that is usually occupied at a rate 4 times longer than younger animals. That means that spot might be used to help 3 or 4 different pups find a home over the course of several months.
Many adopters avoid older dogs at the shelter because they’re worried there must be something wrong with them. However, oftentimes dogs end up at shelters not through any fault of their own, but because their humans experienced a life change of some sort. Perhaps an owner passed away, or they had financial difficulty.
Many of these doggos have healthy years ahead of them. There are lots of reasons that senior dog could be staring back at you from the shelter and usually that reason has nothing to do with the health or behavior of the pup.
While many older dogs are still active and enjoy playing, they’re generally less hyperactive than a younger puppy and their sleep patterns are a little more established. That translates into more potential snuggles on a couch with you and less attempting to tire out a younger dog so you can get some peace and quiet. This makes senior dogs a great addition to households with children and other pets. So if slow is your speed, an older pup could be a great addition to your house.
When you adopt a senior dog you really know what you’re getting. There’s no adopting a Saint Bernard mix and being surprised six months later by how big it is. Spoiler alert: They big.
When you meet a senior dog, you’ll not only know their final size, but you’ll also get a plethora of other info… from grooming needs, to health to temperament and personality. Is the dog good with children? Cats? All questions a shelter might be able to help answer for you before adopting. This means you’ll be able to adopt a dog who fits into your life better!
Let’s face it. Puppies are work and housebreaking is the worst part of that work. Oh, except maybe teething. Almost all senior dogs are already house broken and definitely aren’t in the chew phase. So adopting a senior means your carpets and floors will be spared a tough break in period and you’ll be able to coast straight to some of the most enjoyable parts of dog ownership.
But beyond housebreaking, younger pups require a higher level of supervision and vigilance than their older brothers and sisters who’ve got it all figured out by the time you leash them up and bring them home.
Unlike adopting a puppy, when you adopt a senior dog they may already know some commands and might have had some training. Their age may even give them a greater ability to focus. The calmer nature of senior pups lends itself to better listening. This means that if you’re trying to teach a senior ‘new tricks’ or just a different routine you might actually have a better shot at it.
Running out to the store can be an anxiety inducing when you’ve got a young pup at home. Will they chew up the furniture? Freak out that I’m not there? Make a mess in their crate? With most seniors, you can tell them “Back in 20 minutes” and they’re good. They know that humans come back -- and they’re more interested in catching up on their sleep while you’re gone, so they can snuggle up with you when you’re back.
There you have it, 7 of our favorite reasons to adopt a senior pup. What are your reasons for rescuing seniors?
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Dogs are perfect, but some have a harder time than others when it comes to adoption. You may have heard of Black Dog Syndrome, but did you know Black dogs in shelters have the lowest adoption rate? They also have the highest euthanasia rate, regardless of their breed.