7 Reasons Why Senior Dogs Make Great Pets

by Debbie Wolfe
There are some great benefits of adopting a senior dog for a pet. And I know, I know, everyone wants a cute, playful puppy, but they don’t stay that way forever—dogs eventually grow up. There are so many advantages older dogs have over younger ones, yet they are often ignored by potential adopters.
A “senior dog” is a one seven years or older. Given that average lifespan of dogs is 10-13 years. Many dogs live for more than 15 years. I had a Maltese as a child that lived to be 20! Senior dogs are at the prime of their lives before entering a shelter, and they still have plenty of life left in them.

Here are 7 reasons you should consider a senior dog as a pet:

senior dogs1. Senior dogs need homes just as badly as young ones, if not more. 

In fact, many senior dogs end up in the shelter because they are owner surrenders. They lived with a family and due to circumstances, they were surrendered. Young dogs and puppies are adopted quickly and dogs over the age of five are often overlooked. Unfortunately, when a shelter becomes overcrowded older dogs are among the first to be euthanized.

2. Older dogs are calmer.

Let’s face it, puppies are cute, but they are exhausting! That fluffy, bundle of energy will have you worn out in a matter of days. If you are looking for a chill companion well out of those “puppy years” (which can last for a few years and not months, by the way), then a senior dog is a perfect choice.  They are out of that puppy destruction stage and will make the best couch potato buddy for you.
3. Many senior dogs are already housetrained.

Have you ever had to housetrain a puppy? Just like potty training a child, it takes a lot of work and consistency. Since most people work outside of the home, they can’t expect a puppy to hold it for more than eight hours. Older dogS can "hold it" much more reliably for longer periods.

4. Older dogs may have lost a family. 

An older dog doesn't necessarily end up at the shelter because of a behavioral issue. They are homeless due to the same reasons as younger dogs are: they got out of the yard, allergies, death of a guardian, a new baby, loss of a job, a move, change in work schedule, and various other lifestyle changes.
5. Older dogs are grateful.

Older dogs, especially those who had a home and were surrendered, know this is finally their chance and that they are home for good.

6. Older dogs sleep through the night.

Yes, just like a newborn baby, puppies will cry out for littermates and attention all hours of the day. If you already have kids and been there and done that, an older dog is the best match for you.
7. You already know how big they will get.

There’s no guessing game about how large your new pup will get. An older dog is full grown, so you can select the right size to fit your lifestyle.

Perhaps a puppy is the best fit for your family. After all, puppies and young dogs need loving homes too. However, your new best friend doesn't have to be new; he or she just might be a senior pet.
Finding fidoWatch on Z Living: Finding Fidowhere photographer and animal behaviorist Seth Casteel hosts plays matchmaker each week between a person and a pooch. ​Finding Fido premieres on Z Living in January 2017. 

In the meantime, we'll be sharing plenty of behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, and yes, adorable dog pics from the set of Fido to keep you in the loop. Follow along and check back often

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