Hear the case for adopting older adult dogs

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Adobestock / Mary Lynn Strand photo

Susan Marie, The Doggy Diva Show

When considering adopting a dog into your family, many people often think that a cuddly, energetic puppy is the most appealing choice. Though puppies are fun and undeniably cute, the cuteness doesn’t come without a lot of work. There is a definite case to be made for older adult dogs.

These older dogs often get overlooked at the shelters. But they need good homes, too – even more so than the younger pups. Shelters usually have a larger older adult pet population and by adopting one, you are truly saving and changing a life. Some of these older dogs have been cast aside for unfortunate reasons by their families – maybe even simply because they just aren’t as peppy as they used to be. Imagine the sense of betrayal a dog might feel. One would think that this betrayal would harden a dog’s demeanor and they would never love again. On the contrary, most dogs are even more eager to love and are willing to open up their doggy hearts to another family. The following are a few points to keep in mind when you are making the choice to add to your family.

First, as prospective pet parents, you might think that seven dog years equals one human year but dogs age differently based on their breed. The larger breed dogs tend to age more quickly than smaller breed dogs. Giant and large breeds are considered to be older adults when they reach around 6-7 years old while medium breeds are considered to be older adults closer to 8-9 years old. Smaller breeds are older adults when they reach about 10-12 years of age.

With good nutrition, proper exercise and veterinary care, older adult pups will live a great life as your companion and family member. Keep in mind that although older dogs have established personalities and most often are house and obedience trained, old dogs certainly can learn new tricks.

As previously mentioned, there is no doubt that puppies are cute; however, remember the time it takes to potty train them. If you are mature yourself, and don’t have the patience for crate-training and pee pads, an older dog is a good choice. They have been in homes before and, for the most part, are crate trained and know that the potty is outside.

If you are looking to adopt a “furever” friend who understands what it’s like to be a member of a family “pack” and will learn quickly what is expected of them in their new home, an older adult dog may be the best choice. Many of these older dogs are not in shelters for behavioral problems. They lived with, and were loved by, a pet parent who died and these grieving pups by no fault of their own were placed in a shelter.

Contact a local shelter and/or rescue organization to see if they have an older adult dog that will be best suited for tge family’s lifestyle. An older adult dog offers a lifetime of unconditional love to share with you and your family.

For over 15 years, Susan Marie has been spreading the word about puppy love through her national weekly radio show, “The Doggy Diva Show.” Marie is also the author of the award-winning Miss Olive children’s book trilogy “The Doggy Diva Diaries.”