Carie Broecker is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Peace of Mind Dog Rescue in Pacific Grove, CA. Please visit their site and if you are not able to adopt or foster one of their amazing older dogs, consider donating to their cause.
Bunny Rosenberg is the Foster Care Manager at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco, CA. We strongly encourage our viewers and fellow dog lovers to check them out and see how you might be able to help their cause.
Why you should adopt a senior dog?
Senior dogs need more help than the younger dogs. They typically have already known a loving home, so it is very difficult for them in shelters. They can become depressed and sometimes they just give up.
So, one thing that really made an impact for me in my choice of adopting a senior animal, is that these animals would not have any other options. These animals were all slated for euthanasia at their local shelters because they were considered unadoptable for no other reason other than they are old. And they are really amazing dogs with a lot of life left in them. That’s the biggest thing and the biggest take-home message is that by adopting a senior, you are literally saving a life because these animals would have no other options.
Why adopting an older dog is the better option.
Rescue Dog Bond. Dogs who have been uprooted from their happy homes or have not had the best start in life are more likely to bond very completely and deeply with their new people. Those who have lost their families through death, divorce or lifestyle change go through a terrible mourning process. But, once attached to a new loving family, they seem to want to please as much as possible to make sure they are never homeless again. Those dogs that are just learning about the good life and good people seem to bond even deeper. They know what life on the streets, life on the end of a chain, or worse is all about, and they revel and blossom in a nurturing, loving environment. Most rescues make exceptionally and extremely loyal companions.
They are already housebroken! Did you know that a puppy needs to be taken out about every 2 hours while potty training? We are not guaranteeing that an older dog might not have accidents because they are not yet used to your house, but you will not spend a lot of time getting them adjusted to where they should potty. You can cross potty training off your list!
No eating of the underwear. One of the top insurance claims is because a puppy has swallowed something, usually underwear or socks. Older dogs have been around and usually know not to chew on clothes in the laundry basket and will most likely, leave your fancy Prada shoes alone. An older dog can usually have the run of the house without destroying it.
You can get a good night’s sleep. Now, some older dogs might take a little bit time to adjust to their new home and might keep you up one of the nights, but odds are they are ready to snuggle up with you and just enjoy getting some zzzz’s with you.
Relax. With an adult dog, it will only be the kids running amok, because your dog will be sitting calmly next to you, while your workday stress flows away and your blood pressure lowers as you pet him. However, there are some quite active older dogs out there if that is what you wish for. Gabe is almost 13 and he still wants to wrestle and hunt for bunnies. But he is also able to just chill out with you and snuggle.
Cheaper vet bills. Puppy visits can add up! Between shots and fecals, and getting altered, and emergency trips to the vet cause the puppy swallowed something, your wallet can start feeling a little used up. When you rescue an older pup should get you a dog with all shots current, already altered, heartworm negative and on a preventative at the minimum.
What you see is what you get. How big will the puppy be? What kind of temperament will he have? Will he be easily trained? Will his personality be what you were hoping for? How active will he be? When adopting an older dog from a rescue, all of those questions are easily answered. You can pick large or small; active or couch potato; goofy or brilliant; sweet or sassy. The rescue and its foster homes can guide you to pick the right match. (Rescues are full of puppies who became the wrong match as they got older!).
Used to children and adults. Most older dogs are used to being around all sorts of people, especially kids. A lot of the come from homes with younger kids because parents think they can’t take care of both. Shelters have the dog’s history and will be able to tell you if they are good with kids and other animals. Older dogs have been around much more and do not need to be highly socialized, which can take a lot of energy and time from you.
Perfect match. Puppies can change so much between first coming to your home and by the time they have grown up. There is just no real way to see what kind of a dog you will be getting. Most shelters and rescues do some behavior evaluations. You will know if your dog is a couch potato or is an active senior.
You will have been able to select the most compatible dog.