We have blogged on the benefits of adopting an older pet before. However, as this is such an important subject I thought we should look at the benefits of adopting an older dog. In my research, I came across an upsetting statistic.
It takes up to 3 times longer to adopt an older dog than a puppy under 6 months old.*
Why does it take longer to adopt an older dog?
Could it be that they are harder to train?
This is a myth that needs busting. It is simply wrong to say, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”.
In fact, older dogs may know the basic commands sit, stay and come. Furthermore, when it comes to training older dogs have a longer attention span than puppies.
Rescue dogs have behavioural problems!
There are many reasons why a dog finds himself in a shelter. Needing a new home doesn’t automatically mean they have behavioural problems.
Here are some of the more common reasons a dog finds herself in a shelter; their owner may:
- have emigrated
- need to move to a property that doesn’t allow dogs
- have passed away
- be divorced
- no longer have time to care for the dog
Benefits of adopting an older dog
Older dogs are less destructive
Puppies chew! You can’t really blame them; their mouths can become very tender when they are teething or losing their milk teeth. Older dogs have already gone through this stage.
You know an older dogs’ temperament
Talking of temperament… If you have ever brought up teenage kids you’ll know it can be a challenging time. This is also the case for dogs reaching adulthood. They can be headstrong and very energetic.
This is in the past for an older dog. Most shelters will allow you to spend time getting to know a dog that you are considering sharing your home.
Older dogs are fully-grown
You will know exactly what you are getting when adopt a fully grown dog. Whilst you can estimate how large a purebred dog will grow, it can be much harder with a mixed breed.
Older dogs make instant companions
Unlike puppies, which need basic obedience training, an older dog can join you on walks and knows how to play fetch. He will make a great workout partner, companion or sofa softie.
You may be saving an older dog’s life
Whilst many shelters don’t euthanase healthy dogs it is an unavoidable fact that overcrowding of rescue centres results in unwanted dogs being put down. By adopting a senior dog, you are not only giving it a home, you may be saving a life. There are some considerations on health you need to consider. Do they need special medication? Or a diet suitable for an older dog? The shelter will be able to provide you with information.
* Source: RSPCA