Why should you adopt an older dog? | Village Vets

When choosing a forever friend, be it an adoption or through a reputable breeder, it’s almost always young dogs or puppies that are picked, wanted and sought after. However, adopting or taking on with an older dog has many benefits and there is much joy to be found in having a furry friend that’s as versed in the art of life as you are!


Of course, we don’t mean to dismay those who want to build a relationship with a young animal; either experience can be quite rewarding. Having said that, giving an old dog a new lease of life and a bunch of happy memories is a wonderful thing!


Why would I adopt an older dog?

For a start, nine 4mes out of ten someone else has done all the hard work for you! Older dogs tend to be trained to go to the toilet, follow basic commands and conduct themselves around guests and visitors. Besides that they’ll be brimming with character and will often appear to be more energitic than their younger conterparts; so long as they get the right home and owner. 


Older dogs also make for great companions to established households, just as new, younger pets can help tie a fledgling family together. In the end it all depends on your situation: a young pup is ideal for a new house, while an older pet might be more suited to a family looking for a familiar companion. Only you can choose what’s right for you!


Old Dog


My Grandparent/s would like a pet… What would suit their needs?

Loneliness is a terrible, rueful thing; no matter how connected we might think we are in this modern age. When seeking a pet for an older person, it’s best to go with an older, nicely tempered breed. A new pup will have your Grandparents run ragged after a few weeks while an older Pomeranian might be just the company they need. Older dogs require less training (as we've said) but their needs in regards to exercise, food intake and overall maintenance are drastically lower than, let's say, a nine month old Labradoodle. If you're Grandparent/s is/are seeking a companion to watch Judge Judy with, then an older dog might just be the ideal mate!


As it stands I’m run ragged with work, would an older pet suit me?

Absolutely. As we mentioned in the previous paragraph, older pets tend to have lower expectations when it comes to exercise, interaction and training requirements. Now, that doesn’t mean you can close the door on the dog for 12 hours a day and expect them to love it, but (and it’s a big but) they won’t mind spending some hours catching up on much needed sleep while your gone. However, we would suggest fish or a similar low maintenance pet if you do lead a rather busy life. Again, only you can choose what is right for you.


I’ve a house full of small children, would an older dog be ok around them?

I often have to catch myself from saying absolutely so much, but… absolutely. Older pets are far more comfortable around humans as they’ve had many years to come to grips with our strange ways. It ultimately depends on the temperament of the dog rather than their age. From personal experience, my Gran-Aunt’s dog, Rusty, loved when we’d come over (we being roughly five and six years old) and he wasn’t afraid of cuddles, wouldn’t snap at us when we were being annoying and was very nonplussed by our presence. Older dogs tend to be looking for companions too, so bringing one into a home with children is generally a good thing.


Old Dog​​​​​​​


And when that horrible time comes for them to leave us?

It’s no secret that older dogs are higher up the ladder to Doggy Afterlife than newborn pups are. Having said that, there’s no better feeling in the world than giving an old dog a fantastic few years of comfort, love, safety and dignity. Sure, the loss of a pet is a taxing experience, but having made life better for a pet is a great comfort, too; to give them the freedom to stretch, run and howl, to not let them go gently into that good night (thank you, Interstellar). We’re sure they’ll be thanking their lucky stars when the time comes – that they had one last run with a good family.


Excuse me while I wipe away my tears…


Now… no dog deserves to sit in a shelter for years on end and this goes doubly for older dogs. Research what best suits your lifestyle and adopt the pet that’s right for you. But, if you do get the chance, give an older dog a chance at gettng their happy ending – in the end, it’s what we all want, isn’t it?


So, while we’re busy looking at purchasing shares in Kleenex for all these tears, if you have any other questions that we didn’t manage to cover, you can always ring us or have a gander herefor a plan perfect for your dog no matter what age. We’d be happy to give you advice on what pet is right for you!


For now, Paw-Friends, we say fare-thee-well!