When you hear about adopting a dog, you probably assume we’re talking about adopting a puppy. But if you’re not up to the challenge of raising and training a puppy, why not adopt an old dog instead? Old dogs make terrific pets, and an older dog is just as lovable as a puppy. Jennifer Angel of the New York Daily News recently offered a compelling argument as to why adopting an old dog is a viable alternative to a puppy.
First off, I couldn’t believe it when I read her article and she said that some dog owners take their pets to shelters just because they’re old. But that pet owner’s ignorance could be your lucky day. When you adopt a senior pet you don’t need to go through the potty training or teething stage. No accidents on your new carpet or using your favorite pair of leather shoes as chew toys. Many of the old dogs that are up for adoption have actually been trained. According to the New York Daily News article, “most senior dogs know basic commands like sit, stay and come.”
There are also lifestyle issues to consider when adopting a pet. Perhaps you live in an apartment or condo that has size/weight restrictions on pets. If so, adopting a senior dog ensures you will not violate that covenant because you know exactly how big the dog is, versus a puppy that might grow bigger than anticipated.
While I love puppies as much as the next person I think older dogs provide you with a level of love, loyalty and understanding that cannot be given by a puppy. I agree with Jennifer in her heartwarming article when she writes, “Give a senior dog a second chance at life and you’ll find the experience will change your life.”
But please do remember that the decision to adopt an old dog must be made with the same careful consideration as you would apply to adopting a puppy. The dog will be with you fewer years than if you adopt a puppy. Another option might be to adopt both a puppy and an old dog; that setting works too, as illustrated here.
Have you adopted an old dog yourself, or are you thinking of getting one? Let’s talk! We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this matter.