Here's why you should consider adopting a senior dog
Ever consider adopting a senior dog? Here's why adding a new senior member to the family is a good thing.
“It is a sad fact that senior pets are often the last to be adopted from shelters, putting them at an increased risk for euthanasia,” Ortega tells The Dodo. “When you adopt a senior pet, you’re not only welcoming a lifetime of love into your home, you’re also saving a precious life.”
Follow us on Twitter @amomama_usa to find out why this is one of the best decisions you could make and see the adorable pictures of happy senior pet owners.
Senior pets are fun, loving, grateful and playful, not to mention sweet. These are just some of the qualities you'd find when considering adopting a senior pet.
Despite the fan club that seems to be growing steadily, there are still misconceptions about adopting senior dogs. As a result of this, shelters have a difficult time finding forever homes for these dogs and the numbers are growing.
If you're considering adopting a new pet to add to your family, and want to give that pet a loving home, there are a few things to consider when adopting a senior pet.
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When we hear "senior", old-age immediately comes to mind and the worst thing you'd want is to adopt a senior pet that has a shorter limit of life once you've fallen in love with them. This misconception is wrong. "Senior" means many different things.
In regards to animals, this term can be confused with the geriatric term, and these are two different things entirely.
The term "senior" depends on the animal and the breed, not the age.
“Smaller dogs tend to have longer lifespans than larger-breed dogs, and it’s the same for most cats, too,” Ortega notes. “A large-breed dog as young as 5 years old may be considered a ‘senior.’”
These seniors are typically healthy with lots of energy and love to give and normally show the beginning signs of aging but have plenty of life to live.
Senior dogs are wonderful pets for first-time owners as they already have the instinct of the family bond and are very compassionate and will be an amazing companion.
Their habits and personality vary from those who are pups and have not yet found their footing. Not every dog owner wants an energized pup as a pet, as you need to keep up with them and they demand a lot of undivided attention in their growing years.
The benefits of senior dogs is that they don't need to be house-trained! They know basic commands and you can concentrate on spending more time snuggling up to them instead of teaching them the basics or running around to clean up after them.
“No one knows exactly how much time you’ll have with an animal, and when you rescue an older pet, they often thrive in a home environment and exceed the time you think you are going to have with them,”
No matter the age, nothing is guaranteed. So spend as much time as you can with your pet and give them the loving home they deserve and they'll give you unconditional love in return. Age, after all, is just a number and you can always teach an old dog new tricks as contrary to belief, they are not stuck in their old ways and are young at heart.
Think of them as larger mature pups with less hassle and they're already used to being pets.
“Another misconception is that adult dogs are harder to train or come with behavior issues left behind from previous owners,” Ortega says. “While it’s true that adult and senior dogs typically have established personalities, older dogs are perfectly capable of learning, and the more consistent you are about working regularly with your dog, the easier it is for them to learn, no matter how old they are.”
The majority of senior animals wind up in shelters because their owners relocated or had health issues and couldn't care for them anymore. and some no longer have time in their routine to continue caring for pets. So they end up looking to be adopted due to their owner's decision and are really just waiting to be loved and give in return.
So next time you visit a shelter, keep an open mind and you may be surprised by the new family member you chose to take to their forever home.
If you enjoyed this article you will definitely enjoy these heartwarming stories and story about other experiences with senior pets and the absolute joy they bring to their human families and why more people are adopting senior dogs. All animals deserve a chance and some may surprise you with that extra snuggle you needed all along. Here's touching video of a dog waiting 18 years to be adopted and his dream owner finally arrived!