Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Rewards of Adopting an Older Dog

Depending upon the training, an older dog can be a wonderful companion to those who are not able to keep up with or train a young puppy.  Aspen was wonderful and gentle in her elder years, a little more work keeping up with some of her health needs, but I wouldn't have traded a single minute of my time with her.  

As I look ahead to the possibility of another dog, which is hard as Aspen had such a perfect disposition, I am not sure I have the energy or patience for a puppy...because while not old, I am older myself. 

A long time ago, I saved this article as it was a good one, the owner only wished to have a link back to her site, which at this update [2/27/17] is no longer available.  I hope you enjoy it....and even when considering an older dog, be they have been raised and their current health are important considerations.

The Companionship of an Older Dog

By: Janie Knetzer

My husband and I have rescued dogs of all ages over the years. Since we love dogs and want to help when we can, we always get our dogs from shelters and dog rescue groups. We have consistently found older dogs to be our favorites. Their gentleness and straightforwardness have always fit well into our hectic lives.

A dog at or above the age of eight is considered to be a senior dog. The great thing about adopting an older dog is that while they are far calmer than a younger dog, they are still healthy and enjoy playing.

In contrast to younger dogs, an older dog does not demand all of your attention all of the time. However, they do till like a regular routine just like a young dog. Dogs are always happiest when they can rely on a regular schedule, regardless of whether they are an older dog or still a puppy.

A regularly scheduled walk, regular feeding times and the opportunity to snuggle up to you while you read or watch television are ideal for your dog. Come up with a daily schedule which works for you and your dog and you will both be happy.

An older dog has a bit less energy than a puppy, so they will spend a little more of their time sleeping. You may need to give your senior dog a little push to ensure that they receive enough exercise to stay in good shape.

Kids And Senior Dogs

If you are thinking of adopting an older dog but have small children, remember that older dogs (just like us when we get older) do have aches and pains, meaning that they may not exactly love having children tackling them all of the time.

Parents should always teach their children to respect animals and treat them as they would want to be treated if their roles were reversed. If an older dog is a pet you’d like to take in, make sure that they are good with kids and can be relaxed in their presence. If the dog tries to escape from children, they likely will be uncomfortable around yours.

This does not by any means indicate that this older dog is a bad dog, merely that they are alarmed by their sudden movements or perhaps have been mistreated by children in the past. Families with small children should look for older dogs who walk up to children happily seeking to greet them.

Senior Dogs Have Little Chance For Rescue

It is very unfortunate, but most people overlook the older dogs when looking to adopt. Never realizing just how much these wonderful dogs have to offer. Their calm, gentle and grateful disposition makes them the perfect candidates for many families, single people and older people as well.

The only downside to adopting a senior dog is that you might not have the opportunity to spend as many years with them as you would like to. Yet, once you witness for yourself their undeniable gratitude and companionship, age no longer matters.

It is our hope that if you are thinking about adopting a dog, that you will please consider an older dog. Those gray muzzles are well worth a look.

Author Resource:-> Janie has been working with dogs for over twenty five years. She resides in Southwestern Pennsylvania with her husband and two dogs. She dedicates herself to educating others about the importance of responsible dog care.

Related Articles:

Elderly Dog Owners, A Good Idea? 
Caring for Aging Dogs and Pets

Updated 2/27/17


  1. Claudia, I am so glad I ventured over to your Aspen blog today. This article really gives me food for thought. As I watch my dog Tidbit age and know my time with her is limited, I am of the mindset that when she goes I will foster dogs for awhile. I may look into the need for older dogs now, as it makes sense these would be the ones generally not chosen. Everybody wants a puppy! I think my Tidbit might be happy with my decision to care for the elderly canines, much like I do for her now.

  2. Hi Ruthie, I'm sorry for my delay in posting this comment. I like your idea, and you will know if you are ready to take that on when that time comes. I have thought of going to our local shelter and volunteering in some way, but so far, haven't done so, but it's on my list of things I'd like to try. You have a good heart, and do enjoy your years with Tidbit. She's blessed to have you.

    1. I think Tidbit and I are equally blessed, Claudia.

  3. Aspen was a cutie-pie of a dog, Claudia. I have wanted to get another dog for years, and thought that once I moved home to care for my Mom, that it would be the perfect time. But, a dog could cause Mom to trip and fall, so I have put that desire on hold. I would love to have a little Yorkie, just like Aspen.

    1. Thank you...Yes she was precious. You are wise to wait until the right time knowing your dear Moms situation. God will bless the sacrifices you make for her.

  4. Its a sad fact that many older dogs are overlooked in rescue. Often they are really nice dogs too with such a lot of love to give and often well suited to many homes.

    1. It is very true, and so sad. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I hope that your article that this post provides a link to will be helpful to many people.