5 Reasons To Adopt A Senior Dog

November is National Adopt A Senior Pet Month, so we thought it’s the paw-fect time to share why senior dogs make the best pets!

According to most veterinarians, a dog falls into the “senior” category around the age of seven years old. The size of a dog also makes a difference in the aging process. Smaller dogs age more slowly and have longer life spans whereas larger dogs age more quickly and have shorter life spans. Certain breeds may also mature faster than other breeds. 


Animal shelters are filled with healthy and lovable senior dogs that are in need of a home. When you’re thinking about adopting a dog from your local shelter, don’t look past the older dogs. Senior dogs make great pets for a number of reasons.


Here are five reasons you should consider adopting an oh-so-lovable senior dog for adoption:  

1. Older dogs are usually already trained.Old dog

Most older dogs are already potty-trained and come with the knowledge of basic commands like “come,” “sit,” and “stay.” Older dogs, especially those who have experienced human care and affection in the past, are often eager to please, gentle, and have good manners. Adopting a dog who is already trained will save you a lot of time, money, and energy that you’d typically have to dedicate towards training a puppy. 


2. Senior dogs are less demanding. happy senior dog

Senior dogs are usually less demanding than younger pups. Older dogs require less exercise and oftentimes don't require as much attention as their younger counterparts. Older dogs also have all of their adult teeth and have moved out of their energetic puppy phase, which will ultimately result in less damage to your home.


An adult dog has an established temperament, which will give you an immediate idea of how the dog will fit into your family. Many older dogs do well with children as they have a lower energy level and may have experienced living with children in their past homes.

3. Adopting an older dog will save their life. old pug

Many people are quick to adopt puppies and younger dogs, often overlooking dogs over the age of five years old. Many senior dogs available for adoption were once owned and loved but, for one reason or another, found themselves at the animal shelter in need of a new home through no fault of their own. 


Animal shelters are frequently overcrowded and unfortunately, senior dogs are among the first to be euthanized. By adopting an older dog, you are saving a life and giving the dog a second chance at a happily ever after. 


4. You can teach an old dog new tricks.Sweet senior dog sitting on a porch

The popular saying “You can't teach an old dog new tricks” is not true. Dogs can be trained at any age and older dogs are just as smart as their younger counterparts. Older dogs have a greater attention span than puppies, which can even make them easier to train.


On an episode of the popular show Mythbusters, the cast set out to test the theory that old dogs are too set in their ways to learn new tricks. After just one week of working with a couple of seven-year-old dogs, the Mythbusters cast debunked the myth that old dogs can’t learn new tricks by teaching the dogs to sit, stay, lie down, and even shake hands.  

5. Senior dogs make the best companions.Happy dog walking

When you adopt an older dog, you adopt a loving and sweet companion. Most senior dogs have already been socialized and have learned how to get along with humans and even other pets. Unlike puppies, older dogs tend to have very calm demeanors. Senior dogs still have so much life left in them and just want to love and be loved. In no time, you can build a special bond with a senior companion.


For those unsure of adopting an older dog because the possibility of a painful loss seems near, remember that tomorrow is not promised. The quality of life together with your furry friend far outweighs the quantity. 


Looking to add a sweet and loyal forever friend to your life? Check out all of the sweet and lovable senior dogs in need of loving homes on Petfinder!

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written by

Katelyn Buck

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