5 Benefits of Adopting a Senior Dog | PetFirst
5 Benefits of Adopting a Senior Dog
Pet Care & Health

5 Benefits of Adopting a Senior Dog

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
5 months ago

November is Adopt-A-Senior-Pet Month, so we thought we would highlight some of the benefits of senior dog adoption.

We love puppies just as much as most people do. However, older dogs possess so many remarkable qualities; it is worth highlighting a few of the reasons to consider a senior when searching for your next canine companion.

Many senior dogs need homes

Potential adopters often pass over older dogs in favor of puppies.  Older dogs have just as much love to give and often have much more training already completed. Many times they come from homes where they were cared for and loved. However, due to circumstances beyond their control, they found themselves in the care of rescues and animal shelters.

Puppies always find homes quickly, but seniors can wait in shelters for quite some time before loving families give them a chance.

You won’t have puppy messes on your furniture and floors

Older dogs are much more likely to be housetrained and have doggie manners. Even if they don’t know all the commands, adult dogs can have the patience, ability,  and maturity to learn new skills quickly.

Teaching an older dog is a rewarding experience

Whether teaching a senior dog basic commands, reinforcing skills, or introducing new tricks, training sessions are a great way to bond with your canine companion. Learning new things keeps the mind and body active and engaged, crucial for maintaining a dog’s physical and mental well-being. 

Too often, senior dogs lack physical and mental stimulation because people believe “old dogs can’t learn new tricks.” However, seniors are just as intelligent as younger pups, and they have longer attention spans to learn new tricks and follow past skills.

Adopting a senior pooch might literally save his or her life

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) estimates that roughly 6.5 million dogs and cats enter animal shelters each year6.

Large public shelters are required to keep animals for a certain number of days to see if an owner comes forward. After the required number of days, if no owner claims the animal and no adopter is waiting, many animals are euthanized.

Sadly, older dogs are often the first to be euthanized as potential adopters pass over them in favor of cute puppies and much younger dogs.

Senior dogs are ready-made companions

Sure, puppies are adorable bundles full of energy. However, not everyone has the time, energy, or schedule to train a young puppy.  Additionally, as much fun as puppies are to play with, walking them multiple times a day and night is not for everyone. One reason owners bring puppies to shelters is that they underestimated the amount of work required.

Older dogs are usually housebroken and often know their basic commands. Adopting a senior dog is the best of both worlds as you can get a loyal companion who is ready to love you, walk with you, hike with you, and snuggle with you without chewing up your favorite shoes.

Most senior dogs have already been socialized and know what it takes to live with people and even other pets.

The takeaway

If you are thinking of adopting a new furry family member, ask to meet a few older, wiser dogs next time you visit a shelter or rescue.  You will be surprised at the beauty and insight a dog with a little more knowledge offers.

Should you opt to take a dog home, that pup will be forever grateful to you for giving him or her a second chance at love and life.

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.


 1PetFirst Healthcare, LLC (“PetFirst Pet Insurance” or “PetFirst”) is the program administrator authorized to offer and administer pet health insurance policies underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware insurance company, with its main office at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, or New Hampshire Insurance Company or The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, each with its main administrative office at 500 West Madison Street, Suite 3000 Chicago, IL 60661. For costs, complete details of coverage, and a listing of approved states, please contact PetFirst Healthcare, LLC.

2Like most insurance policies, insurance policies offered by PetFirst Healthcare, LLC contain certain exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force.


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