How I Met My Dog

7 Benefits of Adopting an Older Dog

Everyone loves puppies. I get it. I love puppies, you love puppies, your best friend just got a new puppy, and you're beside yourself with jealousy.   

It makes sense that the default choice when adopting a new dog is to go with a younger pup. However, you may be surprised by how rewarding it can be to adopt an older dog.

An older dog can be the perfect choice for newbies who may not have the time or desire for training from scratch. At the same time, older dogs can bring a new kind of joy to longtime dog owners who want to experience the instant and unique bond that can only be formed with an older dog.

As you read, you may be surprised at how perfect an older adopted dog can fit into your life. Let me tell you about some of the advantages of adopting an older dog.

1. Most older dogs have already been housebroken

It would be rare to find an adult dog that still needed to be housebroken, so right off the bat your new adult dog can enter your life without any of the mess or stress that comes with a puppy that isn’t housebroken.

2. Older dogs can form deep connections with you

An older dog can bond with you just as deeply as a puppy. When you rescue an older dog it may feel like they instantly know that this fantastic new person has come to their rescue and changed their life forever. Older dogs are ready to love and are incredibly appreciative of the love you’re bringing into their life.

You may notice your new adult dog only wants to be in the room that you’re in, and he’s always open to an impromptu cuddle session.

3. Adult dogs have probably been trained, and may be more receptive to new training

The amount of training your new adult dog has under his belt will vary, but no matter the amount, it's all icing on the cake. Simple commands such as sit, and stay are most likely already in your dog's arsenal, and if you're lucky, your new dog will come leash-trained as well.

An older dog is also more receptive to learning new commands. Older dogs with prior training can be quicker to pick up on new command cues. With the firm bond you two share, there will be more concentration from your dog towards each one of your actions. This natural awareness will make your new dog much more receptive to learning new commands.

4. Older Dogs Have a Calmer Temperament

With age comes not only wisdom but also a more relaxed state of being for dogs. This may not true be for every dog. There will always be the ageless wonder who never wants to stop playing. For most dogs though, the older they get, the less exercise they need and the less energetic they are throughout the day.

For seniors living a more relaxed lifestyle, adult dogs can make the perfect companions.

5. Older dogs have better manners than younger pups

Dogs with calmer temperaments will often have better manners than youthful, more excitable dogs. When the UPS truck rolls up, an older adult dog may give it a sideways glance, rather than jump off the couch barking at the new intruder.

Older dogs often have the benefit of being socialized previously with both other dogs and with other humans, making them more likely to have positive interactions in the future.

Older dogs have also likely gone through some kind of obedience training, which should help make them more well-mannered.

6. You can bond with the dog you’ve always wanted

So, you’ve always wanted a purebred husky puppy but just cannot afford one. Well, guess what, an adult husky is sitting in a shelter somewhere right now waiting for you to come to adopt him or her.

When adopting an older dog, you know in advance what to expect from their behavior, rather than rolling the dice with a younger dog without a fully developed personality.

When you're adopting an older dog, you also have the advantage of knowing their entire medical history in advance. Vaccinations have been taken care of, and vet trips should be less frequent than if you adopted a puppy.

7. Older dogs need your help

Older dogs get adopted at a much lower rate than younger dogs. When these dogs should be enjoying their golden years, instead they spend their days in a shelter, up to 4x as long as a younger dog.

When you adopt an older dog from the shelter, you will not be able to deny the warm feeling of pride for changing a dog's life. The love you give to this dog is a love it would never have otherwise known. The same goes for the love this dog will return to you in spades. A kind of love that can only take place between a dog and the human that saved its life.

Adopt an older dog with How I Met My Dog

Using our service at How I Met My Dog, you can easily find an adult dog that fits your lifestyle and needs. You can start off by taking our survey, which will help us match you up with the perfect pooch. Using your answers, we will custom match you to a dog in your area. The best part is, you get unlimited matches until you find the perfect fit.

Before defaulting to a puppy, do yourself a favor and consider the benefits of adopting an older dog.

​ Lend A Hand

When greeting a dog for the first time, crouch down a bit and hold your hand out, knee height, palm up.This gives the dog a chance to smell and touch you without having to worry about expectations. Once the dog has had a moment to process your smell, a gentle scratch under the chin (rather than a pat on the head) sends a clear message of kindness.

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