We adopted both Irie and Tiki at the age of six months. I’ll be honest: for all the puppy fun and incredible joy, there was a lot of work as well. From digging in the yard to chewing off each other’s collars, we had a busy, busy time during the first two years. As they’ve matured, life has taken on a familiar rhythm, from calmer play to predictable behavior when we travel and on walks. Today Irie, who recently turned eight, is our senior dog and loves to take long (long!) walks, romp in the water, and act as silly as a puppy.
If you’d like to skip the puppy issues, adopting a senior dog can be the answer. Often overlooked in shelters, senior dogs generally wait far longer for adoption than their younger counterparts. They linger in shelters where they sometimes need veterinary care.
Fortunately, Nutrish gives back to the forgotten pets like senior pets that might not have someone to love them. One hundred percent of Rachael Ray’s personal proceeds from sales of Nutrish have gone toward food, medical supplies and treatments for animals in need.
Dogs can remain vibrant and active well into their senior years. Our previous dog, Hershey, loved frolicking on chilly days throughout her 15 years in our hearts and home:
Today we want to share with you 10 reasons to consider a senior dog for your next adoption:
- What you see is what you get. Mixed breed dogs are our personal favorite but, with a mixed breed puppy, you often don’t know just how large the puppy will grow. With a senior dog, what you see is what you get! If size is a deciding factor in adoption, adult and senior dog adoption offers a big advantage.
- Skip the puppy problems. Sure puppies are cute–but are you forgetting the problems that come with puppies: chewing, boundless energy, crying, chewing, housetraining issues…and did I say chewing? Skip that stage with a senior.
- Save time and money. Adoption of a senior dog is often less expensive than a puppy. Besides the “sticker price” of the adoption, you’ll also save money in terms of immunizations. While shelter puppies will have received vaccines appropriate to their age, they’ll often still need additional shots after adoption. Skip that extra expense by adopting a senior who will have received shots in the case of most shelters.
- Skip the spay and neuter surgery, in many cases. Some shelters don’t spay and neuter very young pups, waiting until they’re a bit older for the surgery. (That may mean that you foster to adopt, and the adoption isn’t finalized until you return with the puppy for surgery. That happened to us in the case of our kitten, Lucky.) That’s not a factor with seniors; if the shelter spays and neuters before adoption, the senior will already have received the surgery, if he didn’t already arrive at the shelter neutered.
- Skip the teenage years. Teenagers can be a challenge–and that includes teen dogs. From age 6 months to two years, an adolescent dog is figuring out his role in the world and, sometimes, challenging yours. Skip that awkward stage with a senior who is confident and ready to be your buddy.
- Training might be a bonus. You may get a senior dog who is already trained–housetraining, leash training and more.
- You may learn more about the dog’s personality. Some senior dogs have been with shelters and rescues for extended periods, during which the shelter professionals can better access his personality. Shelter puppies are often adopted as soon as they’re available.
- You can rest. While some seniors retain their higher activity level, many are happy to rest and relax with you. Want to be a couch potato for a while after work? A senior dog will be happy to hang out and watch TV with you.
- You’ll save a life. Senior dogs don’t have many opportunities for adoption at shelters; they’re often overlooked time and time again.
- You’ll be a senior one day. We’ll all grow old one day; what would you like your senior years to be like? Get some karmic brownie points by giving a senior the golden years you hope you’ll one day enjoy.
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