Senior Dog Adoption:
Are You a Good Candidate
for an Older Canine Companion?

You’ve decided to save a life and adopt a dog.


But have you thought about a senior dog adoption?

senior woman with dog

For the right person, a senior dog adoption can be a blessing – for both you and your new companion.

Senior dogs (those that are about 8 years old and over) end up at shelters for many reasons that are due to no fault of their own. Oftentimes they have spent their lives with a person who passed away or had to move into a nursing home, and that person’s family refuses to take on the responsibility of caring for the dog.

Another possible reason is that as a dog enters his senior years, his owner decides that they do not want to undertake the extra care and expense that the dog will need. Obviously, no caring pet parent would ever feel this way, but it does unfortunately happen all too often.

Senior dog adoption is the perfect way to give an older dog a second chance at loving companionship. In return, they will give you more love than you ever could have imagined.

Read on to Find out if You are a Candidate for a Senior Dog Adoption.

What is your family situation?
If you have young children, then a senior dog adoption is not for you. Older dogs do not have the energy or the patience to put up with being poked, pulled and prodded by kids. Putting them into such an environment would be very unfair to the dog, and could result in a situation where the dog ends up snapping.

By the same token, don’t bring an older dog into a home with a young, frisky puppy that wants to play all the time. This will be just as annoying for him as dealing with children! However, if you already have an older dog, a fellow senior just might make the perfect companion.

As a rule, an older couple or single person with a calm, stay-at-home lifestyle is the perfect candidate to adopt an older dog.

What are your expectations?
Do you want to play ball with your furry companion, or take long walks together? If so, then a younger dog is a much more suitable choice. Just as with people, senior dogs slow down in their “golden years”. Their greatest joy is to be a lap dog and to just spend quiet time cuddling up with you. So, if you’re the type that likes to snuggle on the couch while watching a good movie, then a senior dog might just be the perfect companion for you!

Do you have a steady routine?
Older dogs tend to be very set in their ways. They like a steady stream of continuity from day-to-day and get very nervous about change. If your lifestyle enables you to provide your senior dog with a predictable schedule that he can rely upon, keep reading. But if you travel a lot, work unpredictable hours or like to vary your routine everyday, then it’s best if you opt for a younger, more adaptable canine companion.

Are you financially willing and able to make the commitment?
Just like people, as dogs age ailments tend to creep up on them, ranging from diabetes and arthritis to cataracts and deafness.

It’s just a fact of life that as we get older, we have more medical problems. We will probably need to see the doctor (or in their case, the veterinarian) more often and to take more medications. When you commit to a senior dog adoption, it’s important that you understand this and that you are willing to take on the financial responsibility to appropriately care for their medical issues. After all, we’ll all hopefully be there one day and we’ll want the same understanding!

Thankfully, there are lots of great products on the market to help our senior dogs stay in peak shape as they age. Check out Doctors' Choice Products for Senior Pets for more information.

Do you have the patience to give him time to adjust?
It’s hard enough for a younger dog to be plucked from one environment and dropped into another without warning. Just imagine the confusion that an older dog will go through. They may have lived with the same person their whole lives, and now they can’t figure out what’s happening to them. Suddenly, they’re not in the same home. They’re not with the same family. Their toys, their food and their bed are different. Understandably, it will take them longer to adjust to a strange, unfamiliar environment than it would a puppy or much younger dog.

older woman with chihuahua

If you’re considering a senior dog adoption, it’s important that you understand this and that you are willing to give your new companion lots of love, reassurance and, most of all, time. His adjustment won’t happen overnight, but before you know it you and he will become the best of friends.

So, if you have a fairly routine, calm lifestyle and your idea of the perfect night is cuddling with your little fur-baby while reading a good book or watching a movie, then by all means go ahead with a senior dog adoption. You will have gained a loving, loyal companion while knowing that you have given a second chance at love to a wonderful older dog.

If this sounds like you, you might want to take the next step and start picking out dog names.

The fun is just beginning!

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