Animal shelters in Australia are full of senior dogs that hope to have a chance of having a home. Most of these senior dogs have previous owners who, for different reasons had to give up their dog and leave them in shelters. Many people think that once they drop off their senior dog in a shelter, the dog gets adopted after a few weeks and start another life in someone else’s home.
The heartbreaking truth? That does not happen most of the time. Senior dogs are overlooked because people that come in to adopt pets are often looking for cute, playful puppies. And while puppies are adorable and there is nothing wrong with adopting one, there are many reasons to open your home and heart to a senior dog.
You don’t need to train a senior dog
Most senior dogs already know training basics. These dogs had previous owners who already taught them to go outside for potty; not to chew shoes and furniture and they quickly understand what owners ask from them. Senior dogs are often obedient and very affectionate – the rowdiness of puppy-hood long behind them.
Senior dogs hold little surprises
When you adopt a senior dog you already know what kind of pet you’re getting. You no longer have to adjust to how big they’re going to get, or how their personalities would change growing up, which is what happens when you adopt puppies. When you already know what personality your dog has, it is a lot easier for them and you to live together.
Senior dogs are easier to live with
When you adopt a puppy, be prepared to give them a lot of love, attention and patience. The younger the dog, the more demanding they are in terms of care – which is understandable. Puppies are energetic and well, still untrained. You need to put in a lot of work. This is not the case with senior dogs. Senior dogs are less demanding. Yes, they do still enjoy morning and evening walks and playtime but they are also happier to just snuggle with you and nap. They do not need to be looked after constantly and their relaxed temperaments make them ideal for all types of households.
Senior dogs are instant BFFs
Most senior dogs are already very sociable. They already know how to get along with humans and quite often with other pets. They are more relaxed, patient and do not need socialization and training which is required for puppies. You can skip all that learning stuff and get right on to snuggling.
Senior dogs can learn new things
“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” – Actually, you can. Senior dogs in fact, are very interested to learn new things. Dogs can be trained regardless of age. By opening your home to a senior dog, you give them a second chance at life and they give all this affection back by being devoted and eager to please. This makes them very apt students.
Senior dogs are so friendly and accepting
Because they are more relaxed and more flexible to the kind of lifestyle their owners have, senior dogs are quite friendly and accepting of humans and even other pets. They are often happy when you have visitors or relatives coming over at your house – new humans to meet and get tummy rubs from, after all. This relaxed temperament makes it easier when you have to hire housesitters if you’re going on extended business trips or long holidays. They greet your guests eagerly and adjust to the presence of your chosen house sitter quickly. You don’t have to worry about the dog being hostile towards the sitter, and you go on to have worry-free travels.
Adopting senior dogs saves lives
Because shelters in Australia are overcrowded and often do not have enough resources to keep every animal sent to them, senior dogs are the first to be put down. By welcoming a senior dog (or two) into your home and family, you are literally saving a life. And senior dogs deserve to live out the rest of their life with love, period.
There are plenty of other reasons why you should open your home and heart to a senior dog. We can go writing about it all day. Not only are they loving, trusting creatures, it is a privilege to love and care for a senior dog because they make every day special and purposeful. Visit your local shelters today and you just might meet the new love of your life there.