5 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog


Photo by Kevin Lowery | www.kevinlowery.com

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, and I what a fitting time it is to talk about the benefits of adopting an older dog. In this season of thanks, I can't think of a better example of pure thankfulness than a senior dog. Having a senior Labrador Retriever myself, I am reminded daily how precious each moment we have with our dogs truly is. So many families are convinced that adopting an 8 week old puppy is the only route when getting a new dog, but the truth is that senior dogs often make a much easier transition into your home.

Here are my top 5 reasons to consider adopting a senior dog:

#1: The transition will likely be easier. Bringing home a younger dog often involves a pretty hectic transition period. Whether you're adopting or purchasing a dog from a breeder, younger dogs will need constant monitoring, especially in the first few weeks after coming into your home.

#2: You know their temperament. Getting a puppy or adolescent dog is always somewhat of a gamble. Genetics and socialization both play big roles in the overall temperament your dog will have as adult, and a senior dog already has its temperament established. So if you meet a sweet, laid back older dog, you can expect that he will keep that same temperament for the rest of his life.

#3: Less exercise! Many of us live busy, hectic lives. Often times, exercising the dog can fall to the bottom of the to-do list. With a senior dog, exercise is still important, but it will take shorter and less intensive exercise to fulfill his activity needs.

#4: You skip the wild puppy years. Puppies require an incredible amount of time and patience. Potty training a puppy often involves hourly trips outside, while senior dogs can 'hold it' for much longer. Puppies can be extremely mouthy and may whine or bark excessively. With a senior dog, you're much less likely to have to deal with these types of behaviors.

#5: The gift of golden years. There's no better gift than adopting a senior dog and making his last years the best of his life. Seniors have a harder time getting adopted, so you will truly be saving a life by adopting one.

So the next time you're in the market for a new dog, take a second glance at that sweet older dog with a graying muzzle. It might just be the best decision you'll ever make!

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Positively Expert: Victoria Stilwell

Victoria Stilwell is a world-renowned dog trainer best known as the star of the internationally acclaimed TV series, It’s Me or the Dog. A bestselling author, Stilwell frequently appears in the media as a pet expert and is widely recognized and respected as a leader in the field of animal behavior.


One thought on “5 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog

  1. Michelle Koch

    Hubby and I were walking our two senior dogs, one eight and the other
    thirteen years old. The thirteen year old walked along carrying her own
    leash on her back, Hubby remarking how "good" she is. I replied that
    she is "The ultimate companion animal, and we walk companiably
    together." That sums it up. (The eight year old is still a hooligan
    and cannot carry her own leash.)

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