This November is Adopt a Senior Pet month for our four-legged friends. And while picking up a cute canine companion can bring happiness to your home, there are also the elder pups to consider. Sadly, senior pups are often the most avoided when it comes to adopting, but they still need a home, too. For some folks, a young puppy with a furiously wagging tail and an excited attitude are important to an owner. But consider an older pup for a moment- quiet and calm, waiting only to be with you. Perhaps those are the best qualities that make a faithful companion.
Adopting the senior pup
Most pups reach their seniority at around seven years, depending on their breed and size. Here, most pups have begun to travel down that “old-age” hill, their physically prime years have passed them by. But that does not mean that they aren’t just as happy as a pup. In fact, they’ve learned a great many things and had many experiences.
If you’re interested in adopting an older pup, they actually have their own category on adoption lists. Your local animal shelter will likely have them posted on their website, so all you have to do is click on “Senior.” You can even go by and check things out for yourself to see if any of those faces and tails match your heart.
Taking care of your senior pup
A senior pup handles quite a bit differently than a puppy. Their age has brought them wisdom and years of learning- possibly both good and bad habits. Training should always start with covering the basics. This will help you get accustomed to what your pup knows and what they like to do. They may prefer certain foods, places they like to hang out, and even a certain spot to potty. Start by housetraining them. Show them where to potty, and what is acceptable. Don’t forget that positive reinforcement is the right way to enforce good and bad.
Older pups will usually have some aging conditions, such as arthritis, so make sure you take them to the vet within the first few days of their arrival to ensure their health. Though they may be older, their health still should be a top priority.
Since arthritis is very common amongst older dogs, it’s important to know how to handle them. They’ll likely show stiff signs or placing weight on one leg. Puppy massage can be a fun and relaxing time for your older pup. You can rub their joints, usually their hind legs, while they’re laying down. To help with circulation, a good chest rub is always in order. Their paws are usually a little worn out, just like ours will get, so rubbing between their little digits can prove most enjoyable.
The nice thing about senior pups is that you actually pass by all those wild years of untapped activity. While some may want a dog that is extremely active, not everyone actually has the time to handle all a young pup can dish out. If you’re looking for a pup that is there to be with you, even if just to sit by the fire with you as you read the latest novel, a senior pup may just be the right friend for you.
To most people, an aged puppy may seem a little worn out, as though they were merely a device or toy. But consider this: wine is aged for years- and the older it gets, the better it tastes. So why not pups as well? A pup aged to perfection just for you.