When most people decide to adopt a dog, what they’re really looking for are puppy adoptions. Puppies are cute, they’re exciting, and it’s rewarding to take a baby and raise it into a responsible adult. This means that older dogs are often overlooked at shelters: people are looking for a cute wriggly puppy and don’t realize what a great addition to the family an older dog can be. In honor of Less Adoptable Pets Week, here are 8 reasons to consider an older dog:
1) They’re past the chewing stage. This alone will save you lots of money and frustration.
2)They’re housebroken. You don’t have to worry about finding accidents or teaching them to scratch on the door; they’ve got that down.
3)They come to you trained. A senior dog is more likely to have basic training down than a puppy. How great to get a dog that comes pre-trained and well-mannered!
4)They’re calmer. Hooray for a polite, dignified greeting at the door. And if you decide to do some advanced training, you won’t have to spend half the class just getting your dog to pay attention.
5)There are fewer surprises. When you pick a full-grown dog, there are no surprises of “He didn’t look anything like this as a puppy” or “I had no idea she’d get so big!”
6) They seem to know they’ve been given a second chance. They’re usually given up because of changes in their family’s situation. As such, they appreciate the chance to be part of a family again and make very loving companions.
7) They take less time and energy. They don’t have the puppy energy that requires more exercise than an older dog; they don’t need constant monitoring to make sure they’re not getting into trouble; they don’t whine at night because they miss their litter.
8) You’ll be a hero. Older dogs, especially senior dogs, are harder to adopt out (again, people think “new dog” and picture a puppy) so they’re killed more often at shelters. Adopting a senior dog means you get to save a life.
If you have room in your home and your life for another dog, adopt an older dog. Don’t head straight for puppy adoptions. Older dogs might surprise you by being the best dog friend you’ve ever had.
Have you adopted an older dog? Please share your dog adoption story with us.
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Photo by Jan Baranski on Flickr and used with Creative Commons Attributions-ShareAlike 2.0 license.