When most people think of adopting a dog, they think of bringing home a brand new puppy. And who wouldn’t love a puppy? They are so cute and fluffy, but what most people do not think of is all the responsibility, time and training that is involved in taking care of a puppy.
Most people do not think of adopting an adult, or senior dog. There are lots of misconceptions when it comes to bringing home older dogs. That is why the ASPCA made November National Adopt a Senior Pet Month.
While younger dogs seem to be the obvious choice when dog shopping, be sure not to overlook the more experienced pups out there. While puppies are shiny and new, an adult dog’s gray muzzle is shiny and pretty too! PAWS Chicago explains that people should not shy away from adopting a senior dog for many reasons. A preconceived notion is that older dogs are sickly or short term and will sooner than later result in an eventual loss. The truth is that an adult dog is considered to be a senior dog at the age of eight and up and some dogs have lived as old as eighteen! So even if you adopt a dog at the age of eight, you could have as many as ten amazing years to share with them! Due to their maturity, they have much more love and experience to share, they are usually more laid back than a puppy and most of their bad puppy behavior is behind them…like their tail.
The ASPCA highlights the adult dogs because there are so many cool advantages to having a grown-up pet! I don’t know about you, but when I think back to when I’ve had a puppy before, I remember having sleepless nights, lots of cleaning up along with some stress…but yes, they are super cute. Much like a newborn, puppies need lots of monitoring and care.
Most adult dogs will just require a basic acclimation to you, your home and their new routine. It’s a learning curve for the both of you but at least you would have one of the main and more difficult training requirements behind you…potty training! Yes, that’s right folks, most adult dogs are already housetrained…now if that doesn’t convince you, what will? A lot of the puppy guesswork is taken out of the equation as well. You will be immediately aware of their personality type and grooming needs which is huge because right from the get-go you will know if your personalities will mesh and if you can fit their daily maintenance needs into your routine. And if you have gray furniture, great, because gray is the new black. (Get it? Because senior dogs are more likely to have gray hair! And that hair will get on your furniture, and clothes for the matter.) See? There’s all sorts of things to consider and know when bringing your new furry friend into your home.
And finally the sad fact of the matter is that dogs ages six and up are of the last to be adopted and have an increased risk for euthanasia because of that. Adopting a senior dog does more than you know for you, for the dog and for the shelter. You have the super power to save a precious life and who knows, they may save your life too.
If you decide to adopt a senior dog, many wags of an adult’s dog’s tail to you, my friend! One other thing to know about older dogs is that sometimes as they age, their paws can slip and slide on slippery floors due to their legs and joints growing weaker. Lavasox are great to help with this problem. Why am I mentioning Lavasox when we are going into winter? Surely you’d expect Saltsox to be on the docket but I want to tell you about Lavasox because of the ultra-grippy sole that provides traction on smooth surfaces such as wood or tile, making it ideal for indoor use, especially for senior pups!
So when considering your choices when it comes to your next dog, please add adult dogs to your list. When it comes to shelters and adoption centers, majority of the time people are going to gravitate towards the puppies. Be different and think outside of the traditional dog consideration box. Adults have so much to offer you as you do for them. They are looking for love, a good home and all they want to do is to make you happy. So the next time you visit a shelter, ask to see the senior crowd…I hear they are worth it. -Team Saltsox