November is “Adopt a Senior Dog” Month. As an animal welfare professional, this is your chance to educate prospective pet owners about some of the following advantages of adopting an older canine:
No surprises. From the get-go, pet parents will know important information, including the dog’s full-grown size, personality, and grooming requirements.
Easy training. Older dogs are calmer than youngsters, so they’re great at focusing on learning new tricks.
Lots of loving. Those who’ve adopted senior dogs say they form instant bonds with their new families. Older pets are also extremely devoted and grateful.
Low maintenance. Grown-up dogs don’t require the extensive monitoring that puppies do. This leaves pet parents with more freedom to focus on young children, careers, and personal time.
Fast adjustment. Older dogs already know how to get along with other pets and humans.
Less damage, fewer messes. Older dogs are less likely to chew on cords, destroy household objects, and have accidents because they’re no longer teething and they’re more likely to be house trained. Older dogs are also more easily house trained than puppies.
Shorter commitment. Adopting a young dog means an eight to 13 year responsibility. As the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says, adopting an older dog can be a shorter, yet no less serious, experience.
Save your energy. Older dogs are less active than puppies, whose high-energy can exhaust some pet parents.
Be a hero. Older dogs are often the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized.
Remind the people you serve that there are more pros than cons when it comes to adopting an older dog. Dispel myths about older dogs being destructive, aggressive or unplayful. The parent of an adopted eight-year-old dog named Sadie told Petfinder she experienced no disadvantages to adopting senior pets.
“An older animal is easier to deal with. Sadie is still playful. She plays fetch and gallops all over the place.” — Hazel Blumberg-McKee of Tallahassee, FL.