15 Benefits Of Adopting a Senior Dog

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Many people overlook senior dogs when adopting a dog from the shelter. They usually go for puppies because they are adorable, and they believe they can shape the puppy’s personality. However, adopting an older dog can be an incredibly rewarding experience. There are many hidden gems to owning older furry friends that most people don’t know about. Here are 15 benefits of adopting a senior dog.

Senior dogs are often pre-trained

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Many senior dogs at the shelter already have basic training from their previous owners. They are usually house-trained and may know commands like sit, stay, and stop. Senior dogs are also more adaptable and understand they should listen to their owners. Young pups often need more training and take longer to adjust compared to senior dogs.

Senior dogs are relaxed and laid-back

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Senior dogs are usually mellow and laid-back. They don’t crave as much playtime as younger pups. Older dogs that have lived in shelters or different homes have a wealth of life experience, making them less easily stirred up than younger dogs. Senior dogs have a seasoned outlook on life and understand that most things aren’t daunting or overly thrilling.

Senior dogs are less destructive than puppies

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Puppies can stir things up with their playful mischief, whether it’s chewing up shoes, leaving surprises indoors, or just creating a bit of a ruckus. Managing these antics can be quite a task. On the other paw, senior dogs bring a soothing presence to the home. They’ve moved past the stage of mischief-making. You won’t catch them chewing on your prized shoes or leaving any unwelcome surprises behind.

Senior dogs often form good relationships with other dogs

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Senior dogs usually get along well with other dogs. They’ve often met many dogs before, even in shelters. If you’re thinking about adding another dog to your home that already has pets, a senior dog is a great choice. They’re more likely to fit in peacefully with your current pets than younger pups, who might be more likely to bother or annoy them.

Adopting senior dogs is often more affordable

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Senior dogs are less in demand than puppies so you can often adopt them for much less money. Some shelters and adoption centers may even offer older dogs that have been waiting a while for free or at a low cost. In contrast, popular puppy breeds can cost hundreds of dollars—even through rescue groups. Choosing a senior furry friend could save you hundreds of dollars compared to adopting a young puppy.

Senior dogs require less time and attention

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Senior dogs usually need less of your time and attention compared to energetic young pups. They typically require less training, exercise, and playtime. Older furry friends also enjoy relaxing and often like being alone. If you’re busy or the idea of a lively puppy demanding your attention all day sounds exhausting, a senior dog could be a great fit for you and your family.

Senior dogs are easy to read at first glance

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When you adopt a dog from the shelter, it can be very hard to predict its true personality. Some experts say it takes dogs about three weeks to fully show who they are after coming home. However, senior dogs often show more of their real selves right from the start than younger pups. This can make it less stressful when deciding which one to choose from the shelter.

Senior dogs can live for many years

“Casey an 8 Year Old Male Maltese House Dog at Sunrise Senior Living Center in Buffalo Grove Bow Wow Event Happy Tails Park Buffalo Grove Illinois 6-2-18 1699” by www.cemillerphotography.com is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Dogs are considered seniors when they reach 8 to 10 years old. Some people hesitate to adopt senior dogs because they worry they won’t live long after adoption. However, many dogs can live to be 14, 15, or even 16 years old if they’re healthy. So, adopting a 10-year-old dog could still give you another five wonderful years together. 

Senior dogs are grateful and adaptable

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Senior dogs at shelters often have sad stories. Some have health issues that their owners couldn’t manage, and others are there because their owners passed away, moved away, or got too sick to care for them. This makes senior dogs especially thankful when they find a new home. Thankful furry friends quickly bond with their new owners and love to make them happy.

Adopting a senior dog gives you time for yourself

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Older dogs can sleep up to 12 to 14 hours daily and spend another 30% of their time resting, meaning they’re active for only about 20% of the day. If you adopt a senior dog, you’ll have plenty of time to yourself. They won’t demand much of your attention—making them a great choice if you want a dog without much responsibility.

Senior dogs are fully grown

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When you adopt a puppy from a rescue, it might grow larger than you expected. If you already know the size of the dog that suits your home and lifestyle, choosing a senior dog of that size can be ideal. Puppies can sometimes surprise you by growing bigger than expected—especially if they’re mixed breeds. Adopting a senior dog is a smart way to avoid these surprises.

Senior dogs come vaccinated

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When you adopt an older animal, you receive their complete medical history right away. Their vaccinations are up to date, which means fewer trips to the vet compared to raising a puppy. This not only saves you money on medical expenses—as vaccinations can be super costly, but it’s also a wise decision for providing a caring home to an older pet.

You can teach senior dogs new tricks

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Dogs of any age can learn new tricks, and older dogs are just as clever as younger ones. They have longer attention spans than puppies—which makes teaching them fun tricks easier. Training senior dogs is like training any dog, but with adjustments that are kinder and more effective for their age. They enjoy the love and attention of training as much as they love learning new skills.

Adopting a senior dog could save its life

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Sadly, senior dogs often go unnoticed at shelters. Many people are drawn to younger and playful puppies instead. This leaves older dogs at a higher risk of being euthanized. In shelters that practice euthanasia, dogs that stay longer may face the heartbreaking possibility of being put down to make space for incoming animals. Because younger pups are adopted more quickly, many wonderful senior dogs are left in jeopardy of euthanasia.

Senior dogs will love you for it

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A senior dog waiting to be adopted probably needs some extra love. Even if the dog’s previous owners were sad to give them up, the change can be very tough on them. Going for walks together, snuggling on the couch, and greeting you eagerly at the door can really lift a dog’s spirits. And having a furry friend who’s always happy to see you can be uplifting for you as well.