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5 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog

At a shelter, older dogs have a much harder chance of getting adopted simply because of their age. Plus, competing with cute adorable puppies aren’t any help. If you are considering adopting a dog, here are several reasons to consider a senior dog. 

  • What you see is what you get. With puppies there is a bit of a guessing game when they grow up. How big will he get? Will he be energetic? How much grooming does he need? With senior dogs, you know exactly the breed, adult size, personality, energy level and grooming needs.  
  • They are laid-back. If you aren’t an active person, a senior dog can compliment your life. They are done with the chewing of slippers and running through the park. Instead they enjoy strolls, cuddling with you on the couch, or simply enjoying a nutritious dinner made just for them
  • Senior dogs can adapt. Because they are so eager to please, older dogs can learn new tricks. A senior dog is able to focus more than a high-energy pup. Because they most likely had a previous home, they often already know basic commands like sit, down and stay. 
  • They are grateful. They know they have been given a second chance at life and they will show it. You can take one look in their eyes and you can see they are saying, “Thank you for saving my life. “
  • Save a life.Yes, you saved a life! Older dogs face the highest rates of euthanization. Unfortunately, previous pet owners surrender their aging companion because they no longer see them as a beloved family member but a perceived burden simply because they got old and can no longer participate in activities when they were younger. 

Have you adopted a senior dog? Let us know in the comments below

23 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog”

  1. I adopted my Allie from the Denver German Shepherd rescue when she was seven. Her former people had surrendered her because they just didn’t want to take care of her anymore. Their loss, my gain. I had her until she crossed the bridge when she was eleven. I only got to live with her for four years, but they were wonderful years. Allie was the best. She’s my “forever dog.” I will never stop missing her.

  2. Indeed. Old Dogs are the Best Dogs <3 There are several seniors currently holding down the couches and beds here, including our newest family member who is 13.5 and had been discarded for a minor indiscretion. He is not like the others (NLTO) and has fit right in. Old dogs are at their most vulnerable age and we have a responsibility to ensure that their final chapter, whatever the length, is one only of comfort, safety, and love. Old Dogs are the Best Dogs <3

  3. Our puss Rhapsody has kidney disease, arthritis and high blood pressure. The doctor also said he’s got dementia. He’s doing wees on our bed but I’ve got cheap, waterproof mattress protectors (with the skirt cut off) covering the bed. I cannot imagine putting him in a shelter just because of some inconveniences of him being a senior (he’s 17 in August)! He’s our PRECIOUS BABY and as long as he’s still enjoying life (sitting in the sun, eating, etc), he’ll always be a valued member of our family here on Earth . . . AND FOREVER!

    God bless ALL our Precious Furbabies! A forever home should mean A FOREVER HOME!

  4. Bless you Wendye Kolles! I must lost my 17 year old dog, Spider. He gave us so much love and joy for 17 years. Even through his illness in his last few months, I could never have given up on him! He still enjoyed riding in the car, eating, napping and giving us kisses. He was one of the great loves of my life. If and when we get another pup, it will be an older dog.

  5. I adopted a bonded pair of senior dogs and wouldn’t trade them for anything! Their owner died and the family members who had them dumped them off at a crowded kill shelter. I thank God for guiding me to them. They joined me, my Chihuahua and Maine Coon cat, and we are a family. Only death is going to part any of us because where I go, they go too; no matter what. Senior dogs and cats are AWESOME!

  6. I adopted Rosie, a female Minpin, 2 years ago at the age of 12+. She has Cushing ‘s disease poor vision and arthritis She had mammary tumors that were removed by the shelter. I didn’t expect to have much time with her, but 2 years later, she she is thriving. She gets younger every day? She brings me joy and is a good companion for my 13.5 year old Minpin Gucci

  7. Seniors are all we ever will adopt, I absolutely love them, we have 9 of them. I don’t have any carpeted floors and have mop at the ready for the accidents if needed. We got a black lab 3 years ago that they said had about 6 months left…. yes, I did say 3 YEARS ago.

  8. Bless you. Forever means forever. We have rescued 2 fur babies and I can’t imagine life without them. I have also had a toy poodle since she was 8 wks old. She turned 16 this week. She can’t hear, she is almost blind, she has accidents sometimes but it doesn’t matter. She has brought me so much love and joy over the years. I hope she is with us for a few more years.

  9. I adopted my Daisy when she was 10 years old. She will be 15 in August. She lived her whole life before me in a puppy mill and when she couldn’t produce any more puppies she was given away. She is the love of my life and still very energetic at times, although she does love to nap!!!!! I wouldn’t trade her for any young whippersnapper puppy.

  10. For the last 9 years, we have chosen to look for senior dogs who are in need of loving, caring homes.. it’s been a joy to give these wonderful dogs a safe, fun, joyful life! I’d never adopt a non-senior dog again! They make life beautiful fur us, and we fur them.

  11. 3 seniors. Can’t say any of them were more grateful or even house trained but I loved each of them as they were so funny with their little senior quirks. Wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Now I will look to foster or adopt a senior first as they are not as popular even though they are usually delightful.

  12. I lost my precious furbaby, Phoebe, to liver disease last October. She would have been 9 in January. I have not gotten another yet, my heart is still too raw. But I know as soon as it heals a little more, I will defiantly get another one. And it will defiantly be a senior…I don’T have the time or patience to train a young puppy. I am a caregiver for my mother, who has Alzheimer’s, and that takes all my concentration some days. I know that Phoebe would want me to give a homeless senior a loving home, and I want to do that in her honor.

  13. We rescued Ranger, our first GSD when he was 3, at least that’s what his microchip record showed. However, I think his true age was 5. We have now had him for 5 years and his muzzle is totally gray, and he is stiffening up in his hind joints (typical), but I know he is grateful to us, because we are his 6th home, and his final home. My Ranger Boy will always hold a special place in my heart, as we are in his.

  14. My husband and I brought home a dog to foster over the holidays back in 2017. It was right before Thanksgiving. No one was interested in 15 year old, Tyson, because of his age. He is a pitbull and just the sweetest dog ever and so good. Well he is still with us however, he is having medical problems (and possibly cancer) so we have arranged to say goodbye to him on Thursday. He has lost weight and will not eat. He has been such a joy these past 19 months and we are so glad to have had him for as long as we did. He had a wonderful time with us and was pampered and spoiled to the max. He got his car rides several times a week and slept right beside me every night. Always consider an older dog because they are so grateful and they thank you every day for saving them. We will always love you Tyson and enjoyed every day with you.

  15. Please don’t forget that senior kitties are also looking for loving homes.
    Over the years we rescued three, the oldest being 18 at the time, blind and frail.
    Mooch had been abandoned by his person’s son after she passed away.
    He only lived with us for 10 months, but he was the best cat ever.

    The best doggies I’ve seen are with my sister.
    She also rescues senior GSD no one wants to care for anymore.
    And they, too, are the best pets ever <3 And they all love our kitties!
    When we have a place for a dog, my sister is picking one out for us.

  16. We have adopted 2 senior dogs. Wally was with us for almost 7 yrs. He just wanted to be loved ?? and we loved him so much. It broke our hearts when he left for the Rainbow Bridge. We now have Hardy and he is a joy to have around. He is loving, comical and so thankful to have a home. He’s been here almost 3 1/2 yrs. Both boys came from NBRAN. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

  17. When my Dad died he asked me to take care of his ‘boy’. Not a dog, but a 12 year old kitty….he is now 18, sleeps with me every night, sits at the dinner table with me and is the sweetest. He throws up every now and then and still beats up on the young ones, but he is the best. He is the only cat of mine who can stand up to my 2 year old Staffy!
    Old dogs and cats rule!!!!

  18. I’m a senior, and I didn’t want to leave a pet behind when I die. I wanted a dog who was older and would probably leave this planet before me. I found Howard at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter. He was 8 at the time and is now going on 11. Howard has some quirks but he’s otherwise well behaved and shows me every day that he appreciates his forever home. He’s a big German Shepherd with possibly Husky in the mix. He shows affection with kisses and leaning on me. He howls every time the sirens go off, and it’s a beautiful sound. He only barks if someone comes to the door. He wants to make sure I heard the doorbell. He does have arthritis and joint issues that I treat with vet prescribed meds. I have a big yard for him when he wants to go out. I found I could not walk him because he’s strong and other neighbors leave their dogs in their yards to bark and charge the fence, which stirs him. He used to limp when I did walk him so having the yard at his disposal that he can use as he wishes works for both of us. He does have the quirk of licking his leg. It’s not allergy but a habit. So I tell him to stop when I catch him doing it and he does. I can’t get him into the car, so the vet must come to us. I don’t know his history, so who knows why he’s so afraid of the car. I do have to watch him around men. He doesn’t attack, but if they turn their backs, he will nip at their backsides. He used to shed like crazy but that’s under control with brushing, skin and coat supplements, and melatonin. He’s a beautiful guy and stays close to me. Oh, and he likes the young female border collie next door. His personality is very different from my old dog who was a frisky terrier, but I appreciate him for who he is. Everyone who visits really likes him.

  19. We just adopted a 14+ year old Irish setter who had been found in his home with his master who had died 2 weeks previously. We have bred and owned Irish setters for many years and this dog is the sweetest one we have ever known. He has heartworm and serious rear end issues, but we wouldn’t give up on him for anything. He is gentle, loving and smart. Had to housebreak him, but that’s of no consequence. He’s our precious boy! Adore him!!!

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