November is Senior Pet Month, when we are encouraged to adopt dogs who already have a few miles on them. According to the ASPCA, “Animal shelters across the country are full of animals of all shapes, sizes, breeds and ages, but senior pets are typically the most difficult to place.”
The advantage to adopting an older dog, of course, is that you don’t have to put up with the annoying puppy behaviors of chewing, messing inside the house, and wanting to play all day, every day. Of course, senior dogs aren’t necessarily as cute as puppies, but they may also be already socialized to people and other animals, and may even be obedience-trained.
If you’re going to adopt from a shelter, try to find a place where you can play with the dog outside of his or her cage. Their personalities tend to totally change when they get somewhere else, such as an outside play area. Many dogs in shelters are confused as to why they are there, and they often are depressed about being isolated in cages all day. Ask to see the dog outside on a leash or in a fenced area to get a better idea of the dog’s personality.
Many shelters and rescues work with foster homes, where you can see dogs in a more natural environment and talk to the foster family about their personality and suitability for your family.
Don’t pass by the dogs with a little grey on their muzzles. Many times, they are exactly what you are looking for! And you will feel good knowing that you’re giving them an opportunity to live out their senior years in a loving home rather than in a shelter cage.
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!