Did you know that November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month? Shelters are filled with older dogs (and cats) that are all too often passed over in favor of their younger counterparts. But many families don’t realize that there are some distinct advantages to adopting an older dog rather than a puppy:
- You’ll know what you’re getting. When you adopt a puppy from a shelter, you really don’t know just how much that puppy is going to grow. If size is an issue, consider an adult dog…they’re already as big as they’re going to get!
- You’ll avoid puppy problems. Along with puppy cuteness come puppy problems: chewing, boundless energy, crying for their litter mates at night.
- You’ll save time and money. Shelter puppies will have received shots appropriate for their age but generally you’ll find that puppies still need additional shots (at your expense) after their adoption. Young puppies are often too young to have been spayed or neutered as well. Senior dogs, on the other hand, will be current on their shots from the shelter and generally will have been spayed and neutered. Consider this savings when weighing the cost of potential health costs (such as arthritis medication) for a older dog.
- You may get a pre-trained dog. Some senior shelter dogs may be trained, from housetraining to leashing training and more. Sadly, some senior dogs find their way to the shelter because their owners felt they were boring and not energetic enough, not due to any behavioral reasons. Talk with the shelter staff about each dog’s background and skills.
- You can relax and rest. Senior dogs will be content to hang out with you and watch a movie rather than chase that tennis ball. Consider your own activity level: would you be happy with a dog that’s ready for some R&R?
- You’ll save a life or greatly improve one. Senior dogs have few chances at shelters; even at no-kill shelters, they may live out their lives but in less than ideal conditions. Remember, we’re all going to grow old one day if we’re lucky; how would we like to spend our senior years?
Check resources such as Petfinder.com to find adoptable dogs in your area!