Senior Dogs Need Love Too
December 15, 2009
Senior Dogs Need Love Too
With the cold winter nights upon us, wouldn’t it be nice to come home and snuggle up with a loveable, friendly dog? Now while you might think winter isn’t the best time to adopt, it’s actually a great time to add a senior dog to your family. By adopting an older dog, you can avoid so many of the obstacles of bringing home a puppy or adolescent dog. Most senior dogs are already house trained. So even in these cold winter months, you won’t have to worry about potty training and taking multiple trips outside. Their behavior has usually tempered with age as well. But the benefits of adopting a senior dog go far beyond these examples.
Older dogs have completed the teething process, so you shouldn’t have to worry about any destructive chewing or gnawing while you’re away. You can actually leave your prized possessions out without coming home to devastation. Even if you encounter some behavioral problems, most senior dogs have mellowed, which means they are more focused than new puppies or rambunctious adolescents. Therefore, whatever they need to be taught can usually be learned fairly quickly. Despite the old adage, you can teach old dogs new tricks!
If you’re concerned about a senior dog being a good fit for your kids or other animals in the house, those fears should be allayed rather quickly. Most older dogs will settle in very well with the pack. Because of their mellow nature, they generally don’t strive to be dominant or aggressive around other dogs and kids. Most likely they were already socialized in their lifetime before you adopted them, so integration into your household should be easy. Older pet dogs are great candidates for in home pet sitting and other pet services. It’s best to keep seniors in their home so they don’t get too emotionally stressed in a kennel environment.
The old adage of “What you see is what you get” applies perfectly to adopting a senior dog. Unlike puppies, older dogs have grown into their shape, habits and personality. Puppies can grow up to be quite different from what they seemed at first. This makes older dogs instant companions…ready for hiking, car trips, and other things you like to do. And after you’re both tired from a full day of activities, older dogs will be ready to settle in for the night with you, rarely needing a midnight potty break.
There are a few unpleasant things that you’ll inevitably consider as well. You go into this relationship knowing that your time together will be limited and there might be some illnesses to deal with but that could happen with any dog you open your home and heart to. The good far outweighs the bad and to think that you’re providing a good home for a dog in their twilight years is so rewarding. Your pet will show their appreciation and loyalty for years to come.
This article was written by Carolyn and Greg Alonzo, owner of Fetch! Pet Care of Chicago Loop-Lincoln Park. Carolyn and Greg can be reached at 312-235-2409. Fetch! Pet Care is the largest national pet care company in the United States; serving 38 states in more than 2,000 cities and towns. 9WX27T7VY55V