The Top Ten Reasons to Adopt an Older Dog

October is one of my favorite months of the year! I love everything that October brings: the changing leaves, the cool, crisp weather, the smells in the air, Halloween and, of course, awareness for animal adoption through National Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month! All around the country, shelters and rescues are working harder than ever to showcase their adoptable dogs and prove to the world that rescued pets make the best pets. And while traditionally, many dogs find homes during this promotion, one group of dogs tends to be looked over time and time again: older dogs.

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Older pets end up in shelters for the same reasons that their younger counterparts do, but their adoption rates tend to be much lower, and they are often first to be euthanized to make more space for new intakes. It’s so sad to think that dogs are passed over just because of their age — they make wonderful pets! Here are the top ten reasons to consider adopting an older dog:

1.  They’re past the “puppy stage.” With an older dog, you won’t have to worry about all the craziness that often comes along with puppyhood. Tons of excess energy, chewing, messes, and the like are just distant memories for older dogs.

2.  They have so much love left to give! C’mon… who doesn’t adore doggie kisses?!

old dog with owner

3.  What you see is what you get. There’s no guesswork when it comes to adopting an older dog. “How big will he get?” “What will her personality be like?” “How much energy will he have?” The answers to these questions should be apparent upon the first meeting with an older dog.

4.  You are (literally!) saving precious lives! Each year, 2.7 million perfectly adoptable animals are euthanized because there are not enough homes for them. When you adopt, you are saving 2 lives — the one that you adopted and the one who will fill his space. Need we say more?

5.  They’re less demanding of your time. Older dogs tend to be mellower and more easy-going than their younger counterparts and many are perfectly content just hanging out!

6.  They’re likely to already be trained. Fewer accidents = fewer headaches for you!

old dog 37.  You can learn so much from them. Dogs are excellent teachers, but older dogs have their own, special sort of wisdom.

8.  Age is just a number. With proper diet and exercise and regular visits to the veterinarian, there is no reason to believe an older pet can’t lead a long, healthy and happy life.

9.  Contrary to popular belief, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

10.  They’re sweet and lovable and just as deserving as a puppy or younger dog.

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So… what are you waiting for?! Get out there and adopt an older dog! And be sure to take advantage of the promotions that many shelters and rescues are offering during October in honor of National Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month.

Dog guardians, have you ever adopted an older dog? What was your experience like? 

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