Five Reasons Why Senior Dogs Make Great Pets…
1. You don’t need to suffer through house training. For those who have forgotten, puppies are a lot of work. Most senior dogs (dogs are generally considered seniors once they’re over seven years old) aren’t strays; they have been members of someone’s family and, as such, are house trained and know basic commands. You have an instant friend minus months of training, one who already knows how to walk on lead and won’t chew your shoes.
2. It’s pretty nice to be the recipient of wide-eyed gratitude. A senior dog knows what it’s like to have a family and wants nothing more than to again be loved.
3. Fewer exercise demands. Senior dogs have lesser exercise demands so if you’re not inclined to run off the energy of a young, exuberant dog, a senior who’s content to curl up on the couch with you while you watch The Good Wife could be your perfect match.
4. They’re good dogs. Many people think older dogs at a shelter are “problem dogs” but, in fact, dogs are surrendered for a whole host of reasons – lifestyle changes like a new baby or job, allergies, death of a guardian, financial troubles – which means that shelters are full of active, healthy, well behaved older dogs just waiting for someone to look past their greying muzzle to the heart of gold within.
5. It feels great. Open your heart and home to a senior and you will know what it’s like to give a dog who’s fallen on hard times a second chance. The feel-good rewards for the doer of a good deed are long lasting. And we like to think we’re all deserving of second chances.
And a bonus reason: You’ll likely be saving a life. Puppies and younger dogs in the shelter system have a much easier time finding homes. A shelter can be a particularly bewildering place for a dog surrendered after years as a family pet. Confused and depressed, it can be hard for them to stand out and get adopted, but the older guys have a lot of love to give if just given a chance!
Modern Dog Magazine Spring 2015