Adopting a dog at any age can be extremely rewarding. Pups add so much joy to life. They are a constant companion and provide a wealth of benefits to improve your well-being.
When most people think about adopting a dog, they think about a puppy; however, if you are thinking about adopting, you might want to consider a senior dog instead. Dogs who have reached their senior years are often neglected and given up for adoption by their previous owners. They need just as much love and compassion, if not more, than a puppy. By adopting a senior dog, you can ensure that you are providing happiness and a high-quality of life for that pooch, allowing it to live out its golden years in comfort and with love, instead of in a kennel at a shelter.
While adopting a senior dog can be immensely satisfying, there are some things that you do need to take into consideration before making the commitment. Here are 10 questions to ask before you sign the papers and bring a senior dog home.
- Are you ready for the commitment? Dogs of all ages are a commitment. A senior dog may not be with your family as long as a puppy, but it is still important to ensure that you are ready to commit to owning a senior pup, even if it will only be a member of your family for a short while.
- Do you have time for a senior dog? Every dog needs to have companionship from his owner, but senior dogs require more than just time spent with their owners being cuddled and played with. They also need to visit the vet more frequently, they may require medications at certain times of the day, they need to be exercised, and they may need to have access to the bathroom more often than other dogs. If you work long hours or are frequently away from home, you may not have the time that is necessary for a senior dog.
- Can you handle the health issues? Like people, dogs can develop health issues as they age. A senior pup may have arthritis, may be incontinent or may have a serious illness. Are you prepared to handle the health issues that are associated with a senior dog?
- Can you afford a senior dog? Senior dogs are more of a financial commitment than puppies for the simple fact that they require more medical care. Veterinarian visits can become expensive, as can medications. Can you afford these things for a senior dog?
- Are you prepared for the responsibility? Adopting a senior dog is a big responsibility. Are you ready to take on that responsibility?
- Is your family ready for a senior dog? Whether you have kids or other animals, your family needs to be on board with having a senior dog. Will everyone adjust well to the new addition?
- Where should you go to adopt a senior dog? Anywhere! Shelters are the preferred location to adopt a senior dog; however, you can also find one at a breeder (perhaps they have maintained a senior dog for breeding purposes,) a pet store or you can even ask a friend who may no longer wish to care for an aging dog.
- How do you pick the right dog? Spend some time with the dog. Get to know him. Make sure your personalities mesh well. Take your kids and your other pets to meet the dog.
- Is your home accommodating? Will it be easy for a senior dog to get around your house? Are there a lot of stairs? Is there access to a yard? Can you make adjustments to accommodate you’re the needs of the dog?
- Are you emotionally prepared? It can be emotionally challenging to handle the medical issues that senior dogs have. It can also be hard knowing that you may not have the pup as long as you would like. Are you emotionally prepared for a senior dog?