You must have seen much news on social media where some people have adopted senior dogs. Such a piece of news is quite inspiring and enlightening at the same time and might have imported a thought within your brain “Should I also adopt a senior dog?” If you have thought this way, there is no harm. It’s quite a bright idea.
But you should be aware of a few things before going for it. You must have heard a quote many times in life that age is just a number. It is true in the case of dogs. Whatever their age, they prefer getting pampered, and in return, they shower you with unconditional love. It is true that for natural reasons, age in mortal ones brings few complications.
And, dogs being mortal beings are no exception. So, you must prepare yourself first by answering a few questions before you go for the adoption of senior dogs. Check the following table that states the questions you should ask yourself with proper explanations
Questions and Explanations
1. How can you measure seniority in dogs?
There is no fixed age for being called a senior among the dogs. Seniority differs from breed to breed. Following are some examples of how they differ:
- Pug breed — 6 to 7 years old — considered as a medium adult
- Beagle of the medium breed — 6 to 7 years old – considered as senior
- German Shepherd – 8 to 10 years old – considered as approaching seniority
2. Are you emotionally strong to bear the pain of losing a furry friend in a short time?
The life expectancy of a dog differs. However, the average life span of a dog is 14 years. So, if you adopt a dog in its 7th year, you may be fortunate to enjoy its companionship for some 7 to 8 years. You may need two years to create a proper bonding with the adopted senior dog.
So, when the strong friendship begins to grow, the dog’s life may halt. For some, this pain seems to be almost unbearable. They don’t have enough time to soak their unconditional love and companionship.
However, if you can adopt a senior dog with a prepared mindset that you will have to lose it within a short span, the time you spend together can take you both to ‘cloud nine.
3. Are you aware of the health-related issues of aged dogs?
With age comes health-related complications. Mobility issues crop up for senior large breed dogs. Chronic health issues take a serious turn, especially when the dogs of medium and small breeds turn old. So, when you choose to adopt a senior dog, you must understand that you may need to invest seriously in the dog’s health soon.
For instance, you must take it to the vet more often to check it. Hence, the total spending and expenses need to be planned accordingly. Also, plan the routine and care issues of the dog so that it stays healthy to the maximum possibility. Try to arrange for a good caretaker or dog trainer.
4. Are you patient enough to refresh the dog’s behavior?
Senior or adult dogs may come to your house with a pre-set behavior that may not suit you. How these dogs were trained by their previous owners may not be good enough for your society. For instance, it may have been trained not to be hygienic. However, you want it to be maintained with pretty good hygiene.
You will have to invest time to train it properly. It is as if refreshing the memory. But this refresh may not be as easy as refreshing your computer or mobile. You will have to make it unlearn many things it had learned for some years from the previous owner.
Also, it may come with a trauma situation because of the previous owner’s demise or some other issue. You must be patient to win back the adopted dog’s faith. Gradually, if you spend lots of time with it, your bonding will grow. So, the one quality needed of you is PATIENCE. So, ask yourself, “Am I patient?” before considering adopting an adult dog.
Read Also: How To Take Care Of Your Senior Dog?
5. How do you plan to establish authority on a senior dog?
Because of the previous parenting of the dog, an adopted dog may be showing some repulse to you. It may not be ready to accept you as its master even though you have the best of intentions. In such a case, you will have to plan your strategy to make friends with the dog.
First of all, there is no alternative to spending time with it and trying to show signs of love, such as cuddling or coaxing. But beware that it may even attack you initially. Also, you may be giving it treats or toys to win its trust.
When you win its trust, establish your authority and make it believe that you are its master and it should obey you. In this way, everything falls in place, and friendship bonding grows.
Whether you own a puppy or a senior dog, you must know that dogs are pure joy to be with. Older dogs are no different and need more love and care from you. They are more receptive and faster at picking up commands.
Most probably, the senior ones will come leash trained beforehand. You are likely to enjoy some positive interactions. When you adopt an older dog, you should ask for its medical history to ensure better care for its health.