A dog is considered a "senior" dog by veterinarians as early as the age of 7 depending on the size and breed of the dog. The smaller the dog, the later in life he is considered a senior. When it comes to shelters and rescue groups, a dog as young as 5 years old could have trouble finding a new home based strictly on his age.
When looking for a new pet, there are some big bonuses to taking in a senior dog, and they can be pretty sweet bonuses when it comes to the "work" involved when adding a new dog in the mix of your everyday routine.
• A senior dog does not require potty training. With a senior dog potty training usually only requires showing her where to do her business. That's it. No running to the back door with a puppy held out in front of you hoping that she can hold it until you get to the yard.
• A senior dog doesn't have teething issues. Your new found friend most likely will not be chewing up your furniture or tennis shoe because of teething pain.
• A senior dog knows the word "no." These older dogs usually know basic commands. They will sit for you and usually stay since they've had an owner before.
• A senior dog has already been socialized with humans and usually with other animals, too. If you have other pets, a senior will not usually be bothered by them.
• Senior dogs can focus. Senior dogs learn easily because they are not as hyper as puppies. Their focus is more on pleasing you.
Besides these big bonuses, senior dogs offer other incentives for being your "pick of the litter."
• What you see is what you get. There is no guessing as to how big they will get or how much hair they will have.
• They are instant companions. They are ready for car rides, hiking, camping, or anything else to share your interests.
* You still have your "me" time. With a senior pet, they don't make the kinds of demands on your time and attention that puppies do.
Senior dogs just want companionship. Just like humans, dogs just want someone to love. Being that a dogs love is unconditional, I think we humans have the better part of the deal.
When you are looking to get a new four legged friend, please consider a senior dog.