Senior Pet Month

Posted by Annette 11/04/2018 0 Comment(s)

Adopting a Senior Dog

Here at Off Leash Dog Boutique we are big fans of dog adoption.  Since it’s National Senior Pet Month, we thought it would be a great time to focus on senior pet adoption and what that means to your family should you decide that a senior dog is for you.  First, we have heard terms like “senior” and “geriatric” applied to dogs; but what do those terms mean?  How do they differ?


Senior vs. Geriatric


To begin, senior years come before geriatric years and carts should come before horses; but that’s another matter. The prominent school of thought is that it is the dog’s size and age that determines whether they would classify as senior or geriatric.  Small and medium-sized dogs tend to live longer than their large and giant-breed brothers. Vets in a VetStreet poll considered 7 the age when a small, medium or large dog would reach senior years while giant breeds got their AARP cards around 5 years of age.  Small and medium-sized dogs are considered geriatric by age 11 while large dogs rounded the corner at around age 9 and giant breeds around age 7.  Now that we know all about labels, let’s look at adoption.


Adopting a Senior or Geriatric Pet


Adopting a senior dog can be one of the most rewarding experiences your family can have; but we know there are some apprehensions, so let’s get it all out in the open.

Common Objections:

  • He doesn’t have that many years left and I don’t want a broken heart.
  • Health issues are just around the corner and that’s expensive.
  • Older dogs come with a set of baggage (read:  bad behaviors.)


Photo by Derek Story on Unsplash


Why senior dogs are awesome adoptions!


Senior dogs deserve a loving, secure home just like any other dog and who better to provide that than you?  Here are some really great reasons to consider adopting an older dog:


  • They are usually house trained and know some basic commands. 
    • Hey!  Less clean up?  Sign me up!
  • They are past the “I’m a puppy so I’m hell-bent on chewing everything within striking distance” stage. 
    • Your shoe budget just decreased!
  • They are generally a more laid back and calmer addition to your family and less demanding of regular extended exercise sessions.  What that means for you is:  you don’t have to walk as far or throw the ball until you tear your rotator cuff. 
    • See?  You’re saving on medical bills and lost time at work already!
  • Many are surrendered to shelters through no fault of their own (owner relocating, owner’s health, etc.) and are already experienced at being a loving pet. 
    • Snuggle time just increased!
  • Most shelters will have knowledge of the dog’s history, demeanor and behaviors.  They are a fantastic resource.  Chat them up!
  • None of us know how much time we have left on this merry-go-round, so passing on a senior dog for this reason just makes us sad.  They have so much love to give whether it’s 3 months, 3 years or more. 


The most important thing is that the dog you are considering is a good fit for your household.  Next time we’ll explore how to prepare for bringing your new love into your home. 

Have a senior or geriatric pet adoption story?  We’d love to hear it!  Respond here at the blog.

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