The Best Reasons to Adopt Senior Dogs

Dog lovers and why your should adopt senior dogs

It can be exciting to invite a new puppy into the home. They’re all full of energy and just want to explore the world around them. This often makes them the target of potential dog owners who want to adopt them into their lives. And in any case, providing a home for a dog is a great thing to do.

But the truth is, it’s just as great to adopt a senior dog as it is to adopt a puppy. These seniors have a lot of character that goes overlooked, especially at a shelter. What you should know is that seniors may have just the right qualities to fit comfortably in your home, and can provide you with the ideal companionship matched with your lifestyle.

Easy to expect

With seniors, you already know what to expect. Unlike a puppy, seniors are fully grown and have fewer changes to face in the future. In most situations, this applies directly to size. Consider a situation in which you rent housing. A puppy may start out below the lease’s required limits, but a senior will match and hold up without leaving you worrying about them outgrowing their stay.

Appetite is another thing. Young puppies will inherently demand more food as they grow bigger. With a senior dog, you already know what to expect, which means no unexpected bursts in hunger or even mood swings.

Teaching old dogs new tricks

Another considerable benefit is that seniors don’t require the same attention that young puppies or growing ones require. Needless to say, the need to monitor them isn’t a 24/7 job. They’re often potty trained as well, and while the details won’t be the same (such as their potty location), the basics are already covered, making training a much simpler task to achieve.

Additionally, other housetraining situations are also much kinder on your homestead. For the most part, you skip the teething years, which are often the worst on furniture and cushions as any dog-parent that has raised a puppy can vouch. In essence, seniors tend to be less destructive than their younger counterparts, and are often relaxed and more focused on spending time enjoying your company.

And who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Older dogs inherently want to focus on you and provide the best attention, whereas young puppies and even mature adults are intrigued by the whole world. This extra attention may be just the thing you were looking for after a long day at work. They want to warm up with you and perhaps enjoy a good rub down while you enjoy the feel of their fur and companionship they provide while you unwind after a long day at work.

Getting along

Older dogs tend to get along better with everyone, both people and pets included. They’ve been around, have grown wiser, and often settle into their new homes very easily because they already know what it takes to become a part of a family. In many cases, introducing a senior dog to other pets is easy, since they’re often much more focused on fitting in and less competitive.

For the most part, they enjoy the more relaxing aspects of life. Not everyone has time to entertain an active puppy, spending time training and introducing them to the entire world. Senior dogs don’t want to conquer the world around them (they already have), they just want to enjoy some time with their companions and have some fun in the process.

But, that isn’t to say that seniors aren’t active. Every dog, both young and old, needs to experience an active lifestyle. Though they may have slowed down a little, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to get out and enjoy some activity. It just means that they’ve never done it with you, and that’s the best part of finding a new friend.

Most importantly, taking in a senior dog saves a life. Older dogs are often the last ones to be adopted at a shelter, and the older they are, the less likely it becomes they will find a happy home. Saving a life offers an emotional return in itself, and can be amongst the most rewarding parts of the adoption process.

If you’re considering adopting a dog, consider one that has some experience under their collar (pun intended). They may not have grown up with you, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy their life with you. And sometimes, you might find they have a few tricks they can teach you if you keep your mind and heart open.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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Acclimating Your Rescue Dog

Dog lover tips for your newly rescued dog
Dog lover tips for your newly rescued dog

Opening your home to a rescue dog is one of the greatest gifts you can give to a dog. Whether it’s a puppy or a senior dog, providing a home for them is not only great for them, but it has an awesome effect on the owners.

However, now that they’re in their new home, how are they going to act? The one characteristic about rescue dogs is that you seldom know their history. While kennels and shelters do their best to investigate your pup’s history (medical, housing, previous lifestyle), they aren’t always accurate. In fact, dogs that live in shelters or kennels for long periods of time will often develop different habits that you might not be familiar with. They may have been potty trained, but probably haven’t had the opportunity to practice it.

Old habits die hard

One of the most serious issues with a rescue dog is that they may be hyperactive when you interact with them and they won’t quite be able to settle back down like most dogs would. It could be because they’re just happy to be free and have a home, but the condition often resonates long after they’ve moved in with you.

Additionally, their new environment may cause them stress. Many shelter dogs have accommodated themselves to living within a small area. Consider making them comfortable by surrounding them with something familiar and then gradually introducing them into a larger home. One of the most effective methods is the crate, and while it might seem contradictory to getting them out of the shelter, it does provide them with a place that is familiar while they are adjusting to their new home.

Another situation is the potty issue. Keep in mind that dog shelters aren’t focused on training and working with a dog, especially in this department. Many dogs will potty in their own housings (contrary to their own instincts), which can quickly and unexpectedly become a difficult habit to break. Be cautious about letting your recently rescued dog navigate your home unattended. If you aren’t with them, it’s best to keep them isolated in a certain location, such as a crate or their own room (make sure they can’t jump over doggy gates).

Comfort

Comfort is a big thing for a dog. [tweet this]

While we laugh because they can sleep just about anywhere (and in the strangest positions), dogs are often just looking for what makes them comfortable. The question is: where are they going to eat and sleep? Many shelter dogs are going to be accustomed to eating in the same spot where they sleep, and change can confuse them quickly. It may be necessary to start feeding them close to their crate or sleeping area, then gradually moving their food back to a designated location (kitchen). This should allow your pup to ease into their new lifestyle, rather than just surprising them with a whole lot of change.

One thing to consider is that shelter dogs are often going to be surprised by new objects, sounds, and even people. In order to provide the ideal comfort zone while they adapt, it’s generally good to check your home for anything that would “surprise” your new dog. This might include loud noises, such as vacuum cleaners, clocks, and other strange noises, that could stress out your dog.

Stress on your dog and how to address it

Keep in mind that stress has a physical effect on a dog as well. The introduction to a new environment combined with a change in diet often results in an upset stomach and even diarrhea. This is simply a fact, so don’t be surprised or upset with your pup if he is having stress-related issues, since you’ll only make it worse.

The best way to address this is as soon as your dog is introduced to the home, it’s time to begin potty training. Take them to a pre-designated location (indoor or outdoor) and allow them to take care of their business there. Be sure that this area is obscured from any outside stimuli, such as the neighbor’s barking dog or even elemental factors. The more comfortable and secure they feel in their potty location, the more quickly they’ll begin to accommodate themselves to your house rules.

Providing a home, even a temporary one, for a rescue dog is a wonderful thing. You’re making their life better by simply giving them a chance to make yours just as good. It might be a puppy, a big pooch, a tiny rascal, or even a senior dog, but what matters the most is that they now have a home and a place in your heart.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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October is Adopt-A-Shelter Dog Month

Dog lovers adopt a dog at your local shelter this October

The fall is here and the cool air makes it wonderful to take walks around the neighborhood, or hang around in the park and watch the leaves fall in the wind. It’s also quite possibly one of the best months to have a man’s best friend to enjoy these times with.

A brief history of shelter dogs

Over a hundred and eighty years ago, the first animal shelter was founded in Great Britain. It wasn’t until 1866 that Henry Burgh initiated the ASPCA here in America. The first shelters were founded in 1894 and since then, shelters have housed homeless pets that were given up on by their owners. Thus, October has been designated as Adopt-a-Shelter Dog month to help families and dogs come together and promote the need to find homes for our four-legged friends.

There are a lot of dogs without homes and are living in your hometown shelter, instead of enjoying the free air of the great outdoors and a companion to share their life with. Many of these dogs are given up on by their owners because of incompatibility, lifestyle changes, and sometimes for reasons (more like excuses) like ‘the dog did not live up to the owner’s expectations’. However, the fact remains that there are no bad dogs, just bad owners who do not understand what it takes to build a solid relationship with their companion. And truth be told, not everyone is a dog person (even those that sometimes think they are).

Find a compatible friend

While it may seem unlikely that you would find a quality companion at a shelter, the reality is that your options are almost limitless. Dogs of all breeds and sizes come in every day, so it is very unlikely that any future dog owner would be unable to find a compatible friend here.

You’ll be able to pick a dog that matches your personality. Do you have a lot of energy? Perhaps you enjoy relaxing. Outdoor activities more like your style? Could you be searching for a playmate for your other pup? Having a dog companion to do all this and more is more reason to visit the shelter and pick out one.

When you visit the shelter, ask whether you can spend some time with the dog before you settle on a final decision. You want to be certain that you make the best decision for the both of you, and that they’ll be comfortable in your home setting and lifestyle. For some, it can be difficult to say no to the so many puppy-dog eyes that just want someone to be their friend. However, it’s always best to keep both you and the dog’s best interests in mind.

Upon adoption, all dogs are vaccinated and treated, so you don’t have to worry about these expenses during your first trip to the vet. In other words, it is possibly the most economical route for adding a dog to your family. Aside from the cost of the shots, adoption fees amounts are normally a matter of a few dollars. Just be sure that your home and heart are ready for the new family member (don’t forget food, water, time, and a lot of love).

Share with your friends

You don’t necessarily have to adopt a dog; you can always play a part by sharing information with others you know. Social networks help information travel fast, so why not post a few hints and recommendations for your friends and associates to see and take note. Every time someone reads and shares, it becomes more likely that a shelter dog will find a new home.

You can also locate a shelter close to you and inquire how you can help promote adoptions this month. Flyers, posters, and volunteers can help spread the word about shelter adoption and motivate pet lovers to open their home to a new companion. Playing a part, no matter how small it may seem, will help a shelter dog find a happy home. Don’t hesitate to help in any way you can.

Bailee, of Midland Texas, is the proud owner of Dragster, a Welsh corgi, and annually adopts a shelter dog who is on the verge of being euthanized. She pays for all the shots and vet bills, and then she searches for an owner, making sure it is just not anyone who gets to keep the dog. She finds prospective owners that can provide a good home and gives the dog away to make someone’s life that much better.

This October, do your part as a fellow pet lover or owner and help spread the word about your local shelter. Whether you’re planning on taking a new friend home or just helping a friend find a companion to share their life with, it is possible to make someone’s life better.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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