Adopting a senior dog can bring so much joy for you and for the dog. The harsh reality is most senior dogs sitting in shelters are languishing out their remaining few days, months or even years before they are euthanized. I am amazed whenever I hear about a pet parent surrendering their senior dog because he/she is too old. Now this member of a family for however many years is sitting all alone in a shelter wondering why. When we bring a dog into our family it is lifelong commitment...until death do us part.
Senior dogs are not the most adoptable dogs. Many people want a cute puppy or a younger dog they can spend many years with. When you think about what a senior dog brings to a family it is really remarkable. These dogs are ready made to live with a family. They are calm and although they still need exercise and activity they are not high maintenance. They are house trained and often have some training with the ability to sit and stay and come when called. And you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Senior dogs can learn new things with more ease. Most of all they are so very grateful to be in a family and a home. They show their gratitude every chance they get. Just look into their eyes and you will see the love and gratitude they feel for you.
My boy Jazz is a senior dog. A dog who is seven years or older is considered a senior dog. Jazz is 10 1/2 years old at this time. He is so healthy and so active. He actually invites Jive to play with him all the time. His activity level has not slowed down. He is calmer than when he was a younger dog but he is still very much in need of jobs to do and activity to keep him busy. He continues with therapy work and loves being engaged in the sport of K9 Nosework.
Some senior dogs may have health issues and need medical treatment or medication. This can be dealt with and the dog can maintain normal life activity with the proper medical attention. Some senior dogs can be overweight. If you adopt a senior dog who is overweight (or any dog who is over weight for that matter) it is important to feed the dog a healthy diet with minimal treats and of course appropriate exercise. Overall any issues can be dealt with love and the right professional help.
I am enjoying the senior years with Jazz so much. I feel our bond grow more every day. I know when I think about a senior dog I think of a dog who is wise and easy to live with. A dog who has much to give because they have learned much on their life journey and only want to be with their human pet parent as much as possible. Every senior dog deserves the opportunity to live their life to the end with the human family that loves him/her. Their loyalty and love is beyond compare. Woofs & Smiles!