6 Reasons To Adopt An Older Dog
I can think of about 6 million reasons why adopting an older dog is a great idea, but I’ll stick to just six. I’m going to shamelessly put older dogs on a pedestal, one that will tower high above puppies. After all, puppies don’t need me to do their PR for them. They do that perfectly well just by waking up each morning and being themselves. On the other hand, an older dog has plenty of charm which might not be as obvious, but when revealed easily outshines those of the young whippersnappers.
Older dogs may not have the playful ways – although some certainly do play until the end – but they are still great friends to have. While puppies abound with their perky (aka pesky), fun (aka nibbling) ways, oldies have other qualities which are well worth celebrating. Oldies are often overlooked when it comes to adoption and rescues can struggle to find them homes. So here goes, my top six reasons to adopt an older dog.
1. They know a lot
Where puppies need teaching the lot. THE lot. Everything has be to taught to puppies as they arrive knowing nothing. They are babies. Whereas older dogs have already mastered living with humans. Unless of course they come from a tricky background, like a breeding, or street dog, but that’s for another blog. I am talking about your average older dog in rescue.
Who will be one who already knows that humans don’t like pee in the house, chewing shoes, or tearing up the post. Puppies have all this to learn and some are not that quick to pick up the basics. Puppies are a lot of work, but seniors generally come with the basics covered.
2. They are happy with quiet days
Unlike their funny young friends who hurtle around needing a lot of attention, older dogs are much more likely to enjoy quieter days. This is not to say they won’t walk miles, or enjoy plenty of activity, but the frenetic, exhausting energy of youth, all that endless attention seeking, well that’s in the past. Now it’s time to settle down and enjoy a quiet nap. A peaceful walk together is much more appealing for many oldies.
3. They like to show their thanks
Older dogs seem to have a wonderful sense that they’ve been given something special. And what’s more, they aren’t shy at showing their thanks. There’s a wise knowingness that dogs given second, or third or fourth chances seem to have. They enjoy every day they get to show it, and will sleep, walk, or just simply be with us whatever we’re up to. They really are perfect.
4. There are no size surprises
When buying or adopting a puppy, you never quite know how big it will turn out to be. Until the growing stops, a tiny bundle of fluff can easily mature into a great handful of adolescent dog. This may not be expected, or welcome. Many young dogs end up in rescue as the full extent of the big dog they would become wasn’t realised (or even thought about). With an oldie, what we see is what we get with their marvellously mature bodies and minds.
5. High vet fees may not be as big a deal as thought
While it’s easy to assume older dogs are going to require expensive veterinary care this is not always the case. Put simply, it just does not make sense to do some of the costly, demanding, lengthy procedures with our senior companions. More usually, decisions are about quality, not length, of life, keeping them comfortable and well loved. But, should illness hit, which let’s face it can happen at any age, good insurance cover should be in place. It really should be for a dog of any age if treatment fees are likely to be a financial concern. Some organisations provide treatment and care for oldies after adoption, with some covering lifetime expenses. It is worth exploring.
6. There’s a dog to suit us all
Like humans, dogs are individuals and while we can generalise, there’s really no such thing as an ‘average’ oldie. While some will happily snooze their days with us in quiet companionship, others will be keenly out on walks, enjoying the scenery and activity. There really is a senior for everyone. When the walks are done, our older pals are likely to rest contentedly. They leave the energetic chaos to puppies.
I also love Jane Klonsky’s Project Unconditional.
Oldies Club is a UK based charity championing, rehoming and looking after older dogs.