Last year I moved to Dallas and started living alone for the first time. I didn’t take me long to run to the animal shelter to find a furry friend to keep me company.
I thought it would be nice if I adopted an older dog, since I figured not that many people are in the market for a senior mutt. I know. I am so nice. I am sure this and numerous other good deeds will come up when the Vatican is investigating my cause for sainthood. Belle was eight years old when I adopted her. It’s a year later and I’ve realized that adopting an older dog turned out to fit really well with my current lifestyle.
So here is why even though chubby puppy faces are super cute you should consider giving an old pooch a chance
1.- Already house broken
When I talked to the volunteer at the shelter (I got Belle from SPCA) she told me that Belle was already potty trained. This is really nice because apartment living + new job + cleaning numero uno and numero dos = no gracias.
This might not be such a big deal for some people, but I am glad I didn’t have to train her. Later in life I probably will get a puppy, but right now it was much easier this way
2.- No chewing
Maybe there are dogs that chew things until they die, but I think older dogs usually don’t care so much for your favorite pair of shoes or the cord of the expensive hair straightener you just bought last week. Nope, Belle couldn’t care for any of those things. Unless your shoes are made of bacon she will leave them alone.
3.- Lots of naps
Belle naps a lot. It’s probably due in part to the fact that it takes more effort for her to get around on three legs and she needs extra rest, but I think it’s also due to being older. She will get excited to go outside and loves to explore the dog park, but she eventually just wants to lounge and hang out or sleep. If I have to stay late at the office I don’t worry that she will go crazy because she hasn’t had anyone to play with. As I write this she is sleeping on the couch next to me.
4.- What you get is what you see
An older dog will be fully grown and you will get to see what kind of temperament it has. Belle was really friendly the day I visited her at the shelter, so I could tell that she had been properly socialized when she was younger. Also, I knew what size dog I wanted, and I didn’t have to worry that she might get too big. (I wanted a big dog, but not too big that I couldn’t carry if I needed).
When I told friends that I was getting an older dog, some asked me if I was concerned that it might come with health issues due to its age. This is the way I thought about it. First the shelter I got Belle from had her medical records because she was owner surrendered, so I was able to see what kind of care she previously had. Also, I got a free vet visit, and one month free pet insurance in case anything came up. If you get a puppy there is no guarantee that it won’t get sick, or that it won’t have a chronic disorder, plus puppies require frequent vet visits over the first few months to get all their shots. And finally, puppies eventually become old dogs; it’s the circle of life Simba.
To make sure she stays healthy as long as possible I’ve been feeding her good quality pet food for senior dogs (this makes a HUGE difference), I keep her shots and heart-worm prevention current, I give her healthy treats, and I get her to exercise as much as she is able.
I am really glad I got her last year. She is a really good roommate (though she doesn’t help with the rent). So if you are in the market for a dog, don’t forget to checkout the older canines, and if you need extra motivation, you usually get a discount when you adopt an older dog 🙂 . Belle agrees!