You’d love a dog, but the thought of training, potty messes and chewed shoes are keeping you from getting a puppy. So have you ever considered bringing a mature dog into your home? Here are some of the reasons for adopting an older dog.
That Youthful Spirit: An older dog can have just as much of a youthful spirit as his younger counterpart. After all, happiness doesn’t depend on age – it depends on love, affection and a healthy environment. Also, an older dog usually is much calmer than a puppy, leaving you more time to relax together rather than spending hours teaching him/her right from wrong.
It’s Exercise Time: Sometimes owners who work long hours hesitate getting a puppy because of the huge amount of exercise and activity needed. The great thing about an older dog is that he/she usually requires less exercise. But remember, an older dog still needs some form of daily physical activity such as walking or swimming. All dogs need to be exercised.
Training Days: An older dog generally comes with some basic training. Typically, older dogs understand the “no” command, are housebroken, and are less likely to turn your couch into a chew toy. An older dog is also receptive to learning new tricks.
Older dogs are more experienced than younger pups – so they have an easier time focusing on new things.
Also, older dogs can be easily integrated into a new family. This is because they have previously experienced living with people and within a pack.
A Bonding Experience: Chances are an older dog that has been left in a shelter will have experienced a life of neglect and loneliness. Once placed in a new and loving home, a dog will learn to trust his/her new owner, and quickly forge a bond as strong as if they’ve lived together for years.
What You Need To Ask
When adopting an older dog remember to ask questions.
1. Why is he/she at the shelter?
2. Was he/she handed over to the shelter by his previous owner or found as a stray?
3. Ask the shelter for his/her medical history, so that you know how to properly care for him/her, and so that you can inform your vet.
4. You should also want to learn about his/her breed and temperament.
Lastly, learning a little bit about the dog’s history, why he/she ended up in a shelter and becoming familiar with any poor behavior traits can help you with your new dog. This information gives you a better understanding of the dog’s temperament and will help you gauge whether or not behavior training is necessary.
Older dogs are patient, loving and true companions.
Best of all, by adopting an older dog from a shelter, you make two dreams come true – yours and his/hers.