Without a doubt, puppies are adorable. They are so cute, playful, and energetic. If you are visiting an animal shelter, it’s hard to resist their cuddliness just begging to be adopted.
However, senior dogs have many advantages over puppies. Generally, a senior dog is considered a dog over the age of seven years-old. They are often overlooked in shelters, seeming to pale in the glow of the cuter puppies. Before you choose a new dog to become a member of your family, know that there are some specific benefits to older dogs.
- You know what you are getting. With an older dog, you can tell his temperament so you can gauge how his personality will fit into your household. You’ll also know his mature size. You’ll be able to tell right away if he is good around kids or too aggressive. With older dogs, there are no surprises.
- They are usually trained. Like potty training with toddlers, housebreaking a puppy takes time and perseverance. Chances are an older dog is already house trained and even understands basic commands. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Wrong! Dogs can be trained at any age and older dogs are just as smart as younger ones. Older dogs actually have longer attention spans, making them easier to train, and they want to please their humans. And they usually have manners!
- Older dogs are more calm. Puppies are bundles of energy and hyperactive at best. They require a lot of attention and a lot of exercise to wear them out. Older dogs are not a 24/7 job!
- Older dogs are less destructive. Puppies like to chew and nip. If left alone, your tennis shoes may get eaten and the stuffing out of all your pillows. Older dogs have all their adult teeth, making them less prone to chew everything in sight.
- There are pure bred clubs for older dogs too. If you are looking for a pure bred versus a mixed breed, there are many breed rescue clubs that have older purebred pups in need of good homes.
- Older dogs are great companions for senior citizens. With less energy than puppies, olderdogs provide comfort and companionship for the elderly who have learned to take life at a slower speed. Older dogs generally don’t have the wild energy to burn and you don’t have to constantly follow them to make sure they are not getting into something.
- Older dogs are grateful. Because many older dogs are often overlooked at shelters in favor of younger ones, instinctually they seem more grateful you gave them a home when no one else would.
You can be a hero by adopting a hard–to-place older dog. In return, you’ll have many years left of unconditional love and attention and the satisfaction of saving a dog. You’ll feel the rewards every day you spend together.