5 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog by Victoria Stilwell

    November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, and what a fitting time it is to talk about the benefits of adopting an older dog. In this season of thanks, I can't think of a better example of pure thankfulness than a senior dog. Having a senior Labrador Retriever myself, I am reminded daily how precious each moment we have with our dogs truly is. So many families are convinced that adopting an 8 week old puppy is the only route when getting a new dog, but the truth is that senior dogs often make a much easier transition into your home.

    Here are my top 5 reasons to consider adopting a senior dog:

    #1: The transition will likely be easier. 

    Bringing home a younger dog often involves a pretty hectic transition period. Whether you're adopting or purchasing a dog from a breeder, younger dogs will need constant monitoring, especially in the first few weeks after coming into your home.

    #2: You know their temperament.  

    Getting a puppy or adolescent dog is always somewhat of a gamble. Genetics and socialization both play big roles in the overall temperament your dog will have as adult, and a senior dog already has its temperament established. So if you meet a sweet, laid back older dog, you can expect that he will keep that same temperament for the rest of his life.

    #3: Less exercise! 

    Many of us live busy, hectic lives. Often times, exercising the dog can fall to the bottom of the to-do list. With a senior dog, exercise is still important, but it will take shorter and less intensive exercise to fulfill his activity needs.

    #4: You skip the wild puppy years. 

    Puppies require an incredible amount of time and patience. Potty training a puppy often involves hourly trips outside, while senior dogs can 'hold it' for much longer. Puppies can be extremely mouthy and may whine or bark excessively. With a senior dog, you're much less likely to have to deal with these types of behaviors.

    #5: The gift of golden years. 

    There's no better gift than adopting a senior dog and making his last years the best of his life. Seniors have a harder time getting adopted, so you will truly be saving a life by adopting one. So the next time you're in the market for a new dog, take a second glance at that sweet older dog with a graying muzzle. It might just be the best decision you'll ever make!  

    About Victoria Stilwell: Victoria Stilwell is a world-renowned dog trainer, TV personality, author, and public speaker who is best known as the star of the international hit TV series "It's Me or the Dog," through which she reaches audiences in over 100 countries. As a widely recognized leader in the field of animal behavior, Stilwell is called upon frequently to share her expertise in the worldwide media. In addition, she is the Editor-In-Chief of Positively.com and the CEO of Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training—the world’s premier global network of positive (force and fear free) dog trainers. For more from Victoria on positive dog training and behavior, visit her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.