Tag Archives: senior dogs

So, you want to adopt/rescue a dog/pup?

By Deb Young

Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to bring a furry four-footed pooch into your home, making you an instant hero to your kids.

But before you settle on a breed, there are important lifestyle considerations to weigh, as each breed brings its own personality and needs to the mix.

A dog is a dog right?

No… Choosing a dog that suits you and your families needs and lifestyle is important.

Things to think about…

Are you and your family willing to make a 10 – 15 year commitment to this Dog?

How much room do you have & what age and size of dog is best for you?

So you have big back yard, then you can choose a dog that needs space to run, or if you have a small apartment, maybe you should stick to one of the toy breeds; but trust me, exercise needs are not based only on size.

There are many small/medium size dogs that need lots of run around room. My Chihuahua is a good example, they may be the smallest breed, but, are they fast and they truly love to run!
They definitely don’t like being left alone, and will whine and cry, even if its only for short periods of time. They have voracious appetites for attention.

Toy dogs are fine-boned, touch-sensitive creatures that do not weather rough or clumsy handling well. They break relatively easily and are quicker to bite than their larger boned, mellower relatives.
While Saint Bernards are notably great with children, they may not be the best choice for families with small kids. The massive dog might knock over a child or even “smush them.”

And while some smaller breeds are terrific family dogs, others just aren’t, like Beagles can be snarky (but not all) and Labs and golden retrievers can be easygoing (but not always).

If there are youngsters in your household under seven years old, they are usually not developmentally suited for puppies 5 months old and under or toy-sized dogs of any age. Puppies have ultra sharp “milk teeth” and toenails and often teethe on and scratch children, resulting in unintentional injury to the child. The puppy then becomes something to be feared rather than loved.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, are there frail elderly or physically challenged individuals in the household? If so, strong vigorous adolescent dogs are not a wise idea. No aging hips or wrists are safe from a playful, jumping dog. . People who were one-breed fans throughout their lives may one day find that their favorite breed demands more than they can physically handle. The new dog must fit the current physical capabilities of his keepers with an eye toward what the next 10-15 years will bring.

An adult might be a better choice if you want to have a good idea of the true energy level, attitude, and temperament of your new dog

Senior Dogs should not be forgotten, Welcoming a senior dog into your home can be a wonderful way to bring joy to the golden years of a dog. Unfortunately, senior dogs are less likely to be adopted and often end up living out their lives in shelters or being euthanized. A senior dog can make a wonderful companion if you are looking for a lower energy dog.

Are allergies a concern?

Poodles and some terriers and schnauzers, for instance are best for people who are allergic to dog hair and dander.

Can you afford a dog?

Owners often underestimate the cost of pet ownership. It’s not just the adoption fee or where you’re getting it from … it’s visits to the vet, food, etc.

Choosing the family dog should include input from all family members with the cooler-headed, more experienced family members’ opinions carrying more weight.

Look at each breed you’re interested in and determine the exercise requirements, the grooming requirements, the temperament and trainability of each breed.

Adopting an older dog‏

By Deb Young

Just as our senior citizens are sometimes disregarded or brushed aside, so too are senior pets.

Older dogs are the least likely to get adopted, but are usually the best to take home.

Older dogs lose their homes for many different reasons,most of them having nothing to do with problems the dog has, but rather with those of the person or family surrendering the dog.

Many folks think dogs who end up at shelters or in rescue are all genetically and behaviorally inferior. But, it is not uncommon for very expensive, well-bred, well-trained dogs to outlive their usefulness or novelty with folks who bought them on impulse and no longer want to take responsibility for them.

Veterinarians say that dogs start to fall into the category of “senior” around the age of 7. However, it depends on size. The smaller the dog, the later in life the dog becomes a senior. Nonetheless, a dog in a shelter can be as young as 5 and still have trouble finding a new home.

Many people automatically think of a puppy when they think of adopting a dog. Puppies are warm and cuddly, and everyone wants to hold and pet them. But puppies demand patience and energy to help them become wonderful family members. Older dogs, however, can be as cute and lovable as puppies, and they often come with many wonderful qualities that puppies take years to grow into.

Five million dogs are killed yearly in U.S. shelters and it is the older generation that goes first. Here are five reasons why to think about adopting an older dog:

1. Older dogs are wiser and calmer. They will more than likely to bond with you on a mature level.

2. Senior pets tend to appreciate the love and care of their owner and the fact that they have been given a second chance of happiness. Older pets in a shelter may suffer from depression because dogs go through a mourning process just like humans do. When a pet is abandoned they form a deeper bond with their new owner, they are more dedicated to making the home happy because they fear being abandoned again. This is your chance to give them joy, and to get that joy back tenfold.

3. Although older dogs may have health problems they do not generally require as much attention and care from you as they start to wind down in their old age. A shorter walk in the woods becomes more preferred than a two hour jog around the fields.

4. Older dogs are often trained to follow commands and are usually toilet trained.

5. Older dogs are easy to assess for behavior and temperament.

Maybe you are reluctant to adopt a senior dog because you fear that your time with your new best friend will be short, bringing that painful time of loss closer. But the privilege of loving a senior dog makes every single day special, as you and your companion share love, friendship, and a special relationship that grows stronger with the knowledge that you have given this fine old dog a second chance at life. The love that grows from this knowledge is stronger than the pain of eventual separation.

While you weigh the risks and benefits of adopting an animal, take a moment to ponder the power of adopting an older pet. If you have the opportunity and resources to enhance the rest of an older pets’ life, embrace it with both arms.

We all deserve to live out the last years of our lives with dignity, love and respect. Give a senior dog a second chance at life and you’ll find the experience will change your life.