Sophia, a 10-year-old purebred Boxer, was surrendered to the shelter when her aging owner was moved to a nursing home and had no friends or family that could take in Sophia. Despite being housebroken and adorable, Sophia’s chances of being adopted are statistically much lower than that of a younger dog. Shelters everywhere are full of wonderful dogs like Sophia that were once loved but now, through no fault of their own, are in need of a new home.
The sad truth is that senior dogs are commonly overlooked at the shelter because they can't compete with puppies and younger, more energetic dogs. But in reality, senior dogs have so much love to give, are grateful for a second chance, make great companions, and are often easier to integrate into your home than a young dog or a puppy.
At WagWorthy Naturals, we've made it our mission to help all dogs live long, healthy, and happy lives and support dogs like Sophia by donating a percentage of each sale to senior dog rescue.
So what can you do to help an older dog in need? We encourage you to be bold and think old! Consider fostering or adopt a senior dog from a shelter. Not only will you spare them from spending the remainder of their life in a shelter, the joys of welcoming a senior dog into your home are many. Because old friends are often the best friends!
10 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog
Here are some reasons why adopting an older dog can be rewarding:
You're Saving A Life
Even the best rescue groups struggle to find enough foster homes to give their residents a happy life. When you decide to adopt from a shelter, you're truly rescuing your new BFF. These dogs are more likely to be euthanized or (in the case of no-kill shelters) to live out the rest of their lives within those loud, crowded, and lonely walls.
The beauty of choosing to adopt a senior dog is that without you, your new fur baby truly may have never left that shelter behind.
Senior Dogs Are Often More Easygoing
Older dogs typically have mellowed out quite a bit and aren’t as rambunctious as puppies. They've been around longer and have had more time to learn how to behave and are often calmer, more patient, and better behaved. They’re less likely to destroy your favorite pair of shoes or chew on your brand-new furniture!
Senior Dogs Are More Likely To Be House-Trained
Chances are most senior dogs will already be housebroken. These dogs will often adapt more easily to your routine and know how to behave indoors than a puppy who is learning for the first time.
Older Dogs Are More Relaxed Around Kids
If you have young children in your life, an older dog might be better for them than a puppy. Puppies are rambunctious, nippy at times, and not fully housebroken yet -- so they might be more work for you than the average dog owner can handle. An older dog is calmer around kids and will have already mastered basic commands too!
Senior Dogs Are More Likely To Be Indoorsy
If you like having your dog by your side, you’ll appreciate adopting an older dog. These animals are often happier being inside pets instead of active outdoor dogs who need more attention. They most likely will be champions at hanging out with you while you binge watch your new favorite show.
Senior Dogs Are Often Easier To Train
Older dogs have been around for longer, and usually know basic commands and will be more eager to please. New tricks are often easier to teach older dogs because they often already have some training!
Seniors Have Fewer Surprises
Senior dogs have already fully grown into who they are going to become. Their personalities are established, and there's no mystery involved when it comes to how big they are going to get or what they will look like.
They've already been through the stages in life where their appearance or temperament is likely to change, so you can be confident after a play date or two that what you see is what you get.
Senior Dogs Make Excellent Companions
Senior dogs have already been socialized and often know how to get along with both people and other pets. This can save you a lot of time and effort in getting to know your new pet.
One of the best things about senior dogs is the bond that you can quickly form with them. Spending time with your new furry friend will bring countless hours of companionship, and you'll be amazed at how quickly you feel connected to them
It's Not Their Fault
Senior dogs often find themselves in animal shelters for a variety of reasons: job relocations, new babies, allergies, change in work schedule, housing issues, or their owner passing or having to into a nursing home. Most of these dogs end up in shelters due to no fault of their own. These animals are often confused and scared, having gone through the trauma of suddenly being uprooted and separated from their family.
These dogs need homes just as much as younger animals and they can provide so much love and companionship to their new families.
Senior Dogs Are Grateful
When you adopt a senior dog, you're giving them a new lease on life. These animals often spend months or even years in a shelter, and they're grateful to finally be adopted into a loving home.
An older pet intuitively recognizes the magnitude of being given a second chance at a loving home, and they'll appreciate you giving them comfort, protection, and love. The aging process can be scary and confusing to animals, so it's important to show them kindness when they come into your life.
When you're ready to add a new dog to your family, it's important to make sure that everyone is prepared for the adjustment. This includes taking the time to get to know your new dog and their personality - what they like, what they don't like, and how they communicate with you. Having a kind and understanding attitude will help your new dog feel comfortable and adjust easily. The privilege of being able to love an older dog can make every day special.
The prospect of adopting a senior dog can be daunting for some people. The fear of losing the dog quickly can make some hesitant to consider the adoption at all. Keep in mind that life offers no guarantees and helping a senior dog can be richly rewarding.
The time we spend with our pets is valuable, regardless of how long they end up living. So if you're considering a senior dog, don't let the possibility of a short life scare you away. Instead, focus on the fact that you'll be providing a loving home for a dog in need, gaining a new BFF, and enjoying all the amazing moments you'll share.
As for Sophia, she did, indeed find her forever home and her new person says “Sophia is my greatest joy. She gets along beautifully with my other dogs and I can’t imagine my life without her. Adopting her is truly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!”.
For more information on senior dog adoption, we recommend reaching out to these senior dog rescue organizations.