We all love puppies but as lovely as they are when they’re small, they are high-energy and demanding. Older dogs, on the other hand, come with lots advantages which you may not have considered.
The benefits of rehoming an elderly dog
Older dogs are likely to be well trained and have experience with day-to-day life in a human world. Oldies are likely to know how to behave around people, are good on walks and get along with other dogs. They’re also calmer than high-energy puppies.
Older dogs require less training
Toilet training a puppy takes a lot of time and patience, and a few accidents along the way, but an adult dog will already know where not to go. Older dogs will have mastered basic commands such as ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ – saving you the energy and time spent training a puppy, which can take months!
Older dogs have better manners than puppies
Older dogs have more life experience and are more used to being around people and other pets. They are also often a lot more patient with kids! What you see is what you get – an adult dog will come home with their fully developed personality, so you can choose a companion with a nature that best suits your circumstances. Dogs generally slow down with old age, so although your older dog may not be able to take part in very energetic play or long walks, they will still enjoy a gentle game of fetch and a short stroll in the park.
They are good company
Older dogs are good company on your daily exercise, but in addition dogs who are getting on in years will often enjoy more sofa snuggles with you, making them the perfect companions for chilled-out people.
You can still teach an old dog new tricks!
Although they may not be as energetic as a younger dog, they still love to play and have the potential to keep learning and adapting. They have the ability to focus for longer periods of time, so if you’re worried about training them to your lifestyle, they can often be even easier to teach than younger dogs. You’ll find an adult dog is just as loveable, full of personality – and often just as silly – as a puppy!
Older dogs aren't necessarily 'problem dogs' as some people think
Older dogs are handed into rehoming centres due to a variety of reasons, including allergies, death of their owner, a new baby, loss of job, a move or change in work schedule. These dogs need homes just as much as younger dogs. They are never too old to learn and make a loyal, fun and wonderful pet!
Older dogs are fully grown
You know exactly what you’re getting in terms of size and temperament – rather than guessing with a puppy. Adopting an older dog is a wonderful opportunity for you to welcome a new member of the family and can be an incredibly fulfilling experience, while offering a pet a second chance for a happy life.
Older pets are the most in need of love
An older pet who finds herself in a shelter is likely to have been someone’s much loved companion whose owner was no longer in the circumstances to look after them, such as if they have moved into a residential care home or hospital. Of course, many elderly pets may have had elderly owners, and it’s lovely to think that you could provide the home for an older animal who may have outlived their beloved owner. Rescue centres can be scary and challenging places for older pets, and although we don’t like to think about it, if they can’t find new homes, they may tragically have to be put down. Adopting an older pet and giving them all the care and affection you can will transform their life, and the love and gratitude you get in return will probably transform yours.