​6 Reasons to Adopt & Care for a Senior Dog

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When we talk about adopting a dog, the focus often centers on younger dogs. While that’s totally understandable, it also leaves countless senior dogs without a home. That’s a shame because while they may be a bit older, there are many reasons that senior dogs make great pets.

In today’s post, we’ll discuss six reasons that you should take the plunge and give a senior dog the love, care, and attention they so sorely need and deserve. When you are caring for your new senior dog, be sure to pick up their poop with animal waste bags from The Original Poop Bags®. Our bags will help reduce the toxins in your neighborhood that dog poop dispenses into the world. Shop now!

1. They are Already Well-Trained

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We’ve all heard the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Whether or not that’s true, one potential reason and the upside of that supposition is the fact that they’ve already learned their tricks!

Puppies have to be trained from square one. On the one hand, that’s one of the great joys of owning a puppy, teaching it, and watching it grow. On the other hand, if you’re not interested in spending weeks potty training a puppy or waiting months or even a year or two for them to fully solidify in their training, a senior dog might be ideal.

In the same way that we credit “experience” in job interviews as “not needing to be retrained,” so too are senior dogs ready to sit, stay, and obey from the moment you give them a new home.

2. They Badly Need Homes

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Make no mistake – senior dogs need new homes! Just because they’re old dogs doesn’t mean that their need is any lesser. On the contrary, the sad fact of the matter is that many of the dogs you find stuck in pounds for prolonged periods of time are on the older side, and therefore have a lower chance of being able to secure homes with prospective owners.

After all, many people looking to bring home a new dog from the pound are looking to bring home a puppy. Senior dogs, by contrast, are some of the most neglected dogs out there. Indeed, too many senior dogs go ignored and are thus subject to the unfortunate selection process that favors new puppies.

No one wants to see old dogs in need of a home fail to get the love and attention they need. By adopting a senior dog, you can make sure that an older dog gets the care and attention they need and deserve.

3. They Are Incredibly Loyal

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In the age old myth, when Odysseus returns home after twenty years encamped in Troy and wandering the Mediterranean, his dog Argus is there to greet him. In fact, Argus is so overjoyed at the sight of his long-gone master that he literally dies of happiness. As far back as Homer, we’ve known that dogs are incredibly loyal – and the older the dog, the more loyal and affectionate they are. Whether you’re looking for a hunting dog, a seeing-eye dog, or just a fiercely loyal companion, older dogs can be a great choice for a pet that will stick by you no matter what.

4. They Sometimes Have Special Needs

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As we get older, we all need more help. That’s true of dogs as well, which is why it is so important to make sure that dogs get the attention they need for survival. Senior dogs can require all manner of different kinds of extra assistance and care, including wheelchair assistance.

When dogs get older, their hips sometimes give out, and when they do, they need a helping hand. That means getting them a dog wheelchair that can accommodate their newfound support needs. These can be especially helpful for dogs with age- or accident-induced leg or hip injuries as well as general mobility issues.

With most wheelchairs, you simply strap the unit along the waist of your dog, make sure the wheels are fixed in place, and let them go. You may need to help them get used to the wheelchair by verbally encouraging them to use it, helping them get used to the smell and taste, and other measures.

In addition, if you have a senior dog that requires a wheelchair, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the right wheelchair for their needs. Short-term wheelchairs with handles are quite different from long-term units. Ask your vet which type of dog wheelchair is right for your four-legged friend.

By doing so, you can help prolong and improve a senior dog’s length and quality of life – and that’s always worthwhile!

5. They Can Sometimes Be Cheaper

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No one wants to think of the cost of owning a dog when they first consider purchasing one, but soon enough you become acquainted with just how expensive a new dog can be. This is especially true when it comes to older dogs, who not only have been around longer, but have already had many of the costs associated with owning a dog administered to them.

If you are looking for a dog who has already had its shots and been trained so that you can thus save your money on these base costs, a senior dog can be a great way to get a loyal four-legged friend without having to pay for many of the costs that come with owning a young pup.

6. They Are Often Wiser (and Calmer)

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As the saying goes, with age comes wisdom, and that’s true for senior dogs as well. Not only are older dogs better-trained than puppies, but they are wise to many of the mistakes that younger dogs can make or annoying habits that can take them a long time to learn to break. For example, older dogs are often calmer when it comes to passing cars and guests because they have been around long enough to recognize these as a part of life rather than the mini-crises for which puppies can often mistake them.

If you are looking for a dog that is wiser and calmer than puppies tend to be, senior dogs can be a great alternative.

As you bring home your new senior dog and start to care for them, make sure you are always picking up their poop with USDA Certified Biobased pet waste bags from The Original Poop Bags®. If you purchase from our You Buy; We Donate® line, you will be helping animal shelters and other organizations too! Shop today and work with us to keep Mother Nature healthy.


Author’s Bio: Lori Wade is a journalist from Louisville. She is a content writer who has experience in small editions. Lori is now engaged in news and conceptual articles on the topic of pet care and veterinary work. Connect with her on LinkedIn.