If you have decided to adopt a dog, you are on the right track. However, there are many things to consider when it is time to adopt. The dog’s breed and age are generally the first aspects that come into question. Many people have a tendency to look toward puppies or young dogs to adopt, thinking this is a more desirable choice. In reality, a much wiser choice would be to adopt a senior dog.
Why Adopt Senior Dogs?
Dogs are like a fine wine, they just get better with age. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you go with a puppy, you are starting from scratch. Expect to deal with issues like potty training, obedience training, and destructive or hyperactive behavior, just to name a few.
When you adopt a senior dog, you are gaining a trained, experienced canine friend. One main advantage is, what you see is what you get. Senior dogs have been there and done that before, so to speak. With young dogs, it is uncertain what their temperament or appearance will be like when they blossom into adulthood. On the other hand, the personalities of senior dogs have already developed. In addition to this, their medical histories are already on record.
Senior Dogs for Senior Citizens
Lifestyle Pets recently had the opportunity to speak with an expert on the subject, Joan Antelman. Joan currently helps run 2 different senior dog initiatives. One of these is Senior Pets NYC, which she has been involved in for 15 years. Her latest project is called Saving Older Beagles. Joan says, “People tend to overlook older dogs. They look at the dog’s age and only think about how long they will have them. The truth is that no one knows the life expectancy of a particular dog.”
Joan’s enthusiasm for her love of senior dogs and beagles in particular is evident when you speak with her. She says that senior dogs are a perfect match for senior citizens, in particular. This is because older dogs are calm and quiet. As they are coming from another home, they are already housetrained and rarely have accidents. Most senior dogs can adjust fairly easily to their new home. According to experts, the energy level of a dog should match or be less than the adopter’s energy level.
She explains, “Quiet and calm, older dogs will be your best buddy. They are just grateful and happy to have someone loving them.” Instant companions, older dogs often bond right away with their new owners, following them around the house. People who are older or retired usually enjoy a dog that is less active, but that will still take strolls around the neighborhood with them.
Dogs become a senior when they have lived out half of their life expectancy. Joan encourages people to adopt dogs that are at least 6 years old. One of her most loved rescued senior dogs is a beagle named Molly. She was dumped in the Bronx in the middle of winter in an empty lot. Molly was owned by a breeder and when her litters were too small, she was cast aside. Dogs like Molly are perfect candidates for therapy dogs, as they crave loving attention and affection.
A Word About Beagles
Joan expresses her adoration for senior beagles, in particular. Her current beagle, named Bodie was adopted at age 6, and is now 10 years old. She says that beagles are a really great choice for people who have never had a dog before. Joan explains, “Beagles do something every day that makes you laugh. They do funny and silly things that will make you smile.” Every night, Joan tells one of her beagles “time for bed.” This dog will wait for her to say these words and only after they are spoken, will she go to her bed. Sweet and good with people, Joan says that beagles are lovers.
Do you already have another dog or cat in your home? Older dogs get along with cats and other dogs better than young dogs do. Joan says, “I still really believe that if you can love one animal, you can love another. You still have room in your heart to adopt another. Why not give a senior dog the opportunity to live out his or her life in a happy home?” Indeed.