|The author's senior dog, Daisy.|
Don't get me wrong - I love puppies, but boy can they be a lot of work! Senior dogs, on the other hand, are much calmer and already have established personalities. On average, dogs are considered to be "senior" at the age of 7 (though younger for larger breeds and older for smaller breeds), and are often the first to be euthanized for space at shelters because they often have trouble finding homes. Need more reasons to chose a senior pet next time you want to add a new family member? How about six more:
- Older dogs are calmer and (in most cases) settle in quickly to their new home.
- Older dogs have usually had some training already (they come pre-programmed!).
- They don't always have special health needs or behavior issues. Sometimes older dogs are dropped off at the shelter because their owner has passed away, there is a new baby, or some other reason completely beyond the dog's control.
- You have the opportunity to make their last few years (or months) the best of their lives.
- Less mess. Senior dogs aren't likely to be peeing all over the house or chewing up your favorite shoes.
- Senior dogs are down to hang out on the couch or go for a ride - whatever you want to do, they want to do it with you!
This post was written in memory of Orlando, a senior dog that romped and loved the last 4 years of his life at the Amazon CARES shelter in Iquitos. To help older dogs like Orlando and the other dogs that call the shelter their home, please consider donating here.