Posted on Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
Puppies are undeniably adorable, but senior dogs need homes, too, and can prove to be unexpected treasures.
While there are many reasons to adopt senior dogs – which generally means dogs over the age of 7 – the most urgent reason is that you might save a dog’s life.
Highest risk for euthanization
Senior dogs are among the highest risk for euthanization of all animals at shelters, largely because of their age and pet lovers’ preferences for puppies and dogs under 3 years old, Justin Scally, national director of emergency services for the American Humane Association, told Today Pets. That’s a shame, he noted, since they tend to be easy-going and ready to do nothing more than hang out, and of course, they’re housebroken by this point.
“The most difficult part about older pets in shelters is that many have gone from a comfy couch to being stressed in a dog kennel,” Scally pointed out.
Good pets and faithful friends
When you take a dog from this tense situation and give her a home, you’re doing a good deed for both of you. Older dogs generally make calm, quiet companions, since they tend to enjoy the role of couch potato, and they have almost certainly stopped tearing up rugs, clothes and slippers in the way of a peppy pup. If your job takes you away from home most of the day, a senior dog will be just as glad to see you when you come back as a puppy, but won’t make you feel guilty for not being around to exercise him every few hours.
Handling medical issues
Adopting a dog from an animal shelter has certain advantages, and one is that many shelters have incoming dogs checked by a veterinarian soon after arrival. In that case, you’ll know what to expect and can speak with pet experts to evaluate your options. You may not need to reject a dog that does need some ongoing medical care, assuming it’s affordable and you’re able to handle it.
Lori Fusaro, a photographer interviewed by Today Pets, attested to that fact. These days, she enjoys the company of a delightful 17-year-old dog named Sunny, who’s been with her for over a year now and battles health issues like eye infections and a tumor on her leg. Fusaro said that while she was initially afraid to take on the responsibility of caring for Sunny, it was well worth it.
“When I look back at my unwillingness to adopt an older dog, it was more about my own selfishness – about not wanting to feel that pain, not wanting to make hard decisions. But every dog is important. Every dog deserves a home,” she said.
This content post is provided by the pet experts at Hartz.