Pros & Cons for Adopting a Senior Dog

The decision to bring a new dog into the home isn’t one to be taken lightly.  There is a lot to consider, including time, expenses,  the temperament of the dog, and of course the dog’s age.

Many people opt to bring home a new puppy instead of a senior dog for many different reasons.  However, the truth is there are many senior dogs without families to call their own, and they are just as lovable as a brand new pup.

True, as with most things in life, there are pros and cons to adopting an older dog.

For one, their history may be unknown, which in turn means that they could have allergies, illnesses, and quirks yet to be discovered.

Their snout may be fully grey, and their teeth might not be as white.  There may be some behavioral issues that need correcting from time to time.

They may not run as fast or be as playful as a younger dog, and there is a possibility that their visits to the vet’s office might be a little more frequent.

All of that aside, there are still so many satisfying benefits to opening your heart to a dog who wants to live out their golden years with happiness and love.

First, dogs don’t know how old they are.  What this means is that a senior dog can still consider themselves a puppy and be more playful than one may think.

They are frequently happy to go for walks and just as content to sit on your lap for a quality evening of cuddling.

They still enjoy car rides and visits to the park.
Most seniors are housebroken, so you don’t have to worry about accidents on the carpets, and many have outgrown the destructive “puppy” phase, so you won’t have to worry too much about coming home to chewed-up shoes or furniture.

If one of your concerns is that they won’t bond with you as a puppy would, that couldn’t be further from the truth.   One might be surprised at how quickly a senior dog WILL bond with them!  There’s a great chance it will happen almost instantly.

There is a certain appreciation factor that senior dogs seem to have.   They enjoy being with their new family and can adapt to the new house rules that they will experience.

And yes, they can still be trained, contrary to the old saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”  You
certainly can train them, and once they learn those new tricks, they’ll be happy to show them off!  Also, your senior dog will love the quality time they spend with you learning those tricks.  Their minds are still sharp
and eager to please!

While our time with senior dogs may be a little less than the time we have with a puppy, remember there are no guarantees in life.
A senior dog may live with you for many years to come, and they will be a fantastic companion during those years!


Elizabeth Parker – Author of Finally Home, Final Journey, My Dog Does That!, Bark Out Loud!, Paw Prints in the Sand,Paw Prints in the Sand: Mission Accomplished, Unwanted Dreams, Phobia, Evil’s Door and Faces of Deception.  Available on!