Benefits of Adopting a Senior Dog

Thinking of adopting a new furry member into your family? While on the search for your new best friend, consider opening your mind to adopting an older dog. Older/senior dogs make great pets—remember, older only means wiser! Animal shelters are filled with lovable senior dogs that are in need for a furever home.

This week on Q&A with Dr. Quest, we go over the benefits of adopting a senior dog!


What are some of the major benefits of adopting a senior dog?

A senior dog may already have been potty trained and taught basic commands and doggie etiquette.  By adopting a senior dog you may be giving it a great home it might not as easily get as a young dog.  Senior dogs tend to be more left out when it comes to adoption than young dogs.  Most of the time they end of in an animal shelter for no fault of their own and can provide a loving pet for many years.  Most older dogs are already leashed trained and can provide an instant companion with little or no training on your part.


What are things you have to be mindful of if you adopt a senior dog?

Senior dogs have established what kind of temperament they are going to have by this point in their lives.  It is important to take into consideration how they will interact with other pets in the home.  They can be less energetic and may even possible be slowing down to some aches and pains that dogs can get just like people do as they get older.  But this can be a good thing for some people who just want a calm, loving pet that requires less physical effort on their part.  Young dogs can be like children in that they need to be “entertained” and this is less likely with a senior dog.


Is the old saying true “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”?

Older dogs may actually be more adept to learning new things.  They tend to have a longer attention span than young dogs or puppies.  And they may be more willing to spend time learning because they are typically less energetic than young dogs.


What should you expect when you adopt a senior dog?

A senior dog has established their personality so it may be best to do a “trial” adoption to make sure they get along with other pets and people in your household.  Be aware that senior dogs may need more attention to make sure they stay healthy and as with all pets be sure to include regular veterinary exams as part of your routine.  Even if a senior dog has a few old age health problems they are usually nothing that can’t be kept in check by working closely with your veterinarian.

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