What to Expect When You Adopt a Senior Dog

The sad truth is many animals that end up in animal shelters are older, senior pets. Whether a family can no longer care for the animal due to unforeseen circumstances, or they’re abandoned, these pets are still in need of their forever home. Many people search shelters for young dogs and puppies, but senior pets shouldn’t be overlooked. This month is ASPCA’s Adopt a Senior Pet Month, so we’re helping you understand the process of adopting and loving a senior pet.

What to Expect
When you decide to adopt a dog, and come to the decision to adopt an older pet, there are a few things to do first. Just like with any new pet, you’ll want to start preparing your home to take in this new family member. Begin with collecting supplies like food and water dishes, bedding and toys. Let the adults in the family meet your potential new pet first, and then bring in children to meet them. Talk to the staff at the shelter you choose to understand more about the pet. Ask if they had any information from the past family. If the dog has certain needs, make sure your home is able to accommodate them.

Understand the Costs
Part of accommodating your new pet includes understanding the costs and level of care that could come along with caring for a senior pet. Because these dogs are entering a new stage in life, they could require a higher level of attention and care. Ask your vet or shelter staff to evaluate the health of your new pet. It should be noted that care costs could get increasingly higher. Ensure your family has the funds set aside to help your animal, should anything arise.

The Best is Yet to Come
Even if proper care becomes a little more expensive, the very best is yet to come for your pet. By adopting a senior pet, you’re saving a life! With puppies, you have to spend years teaching them when and where to go potty and what not to chew on. Most of the time, older pets are completely house-trained and know not to chew on your favorite sandals. They are often familiar with kids and fit right in with any family setting. We see many pets go to families that are completely trained and continue to learn new tricks. Yes, the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” isn’t true.

This month, we encourage your family to look into adopting an older or senior pet if your family has the means to do so. These pets are so deserving of finding a forever home to live out the rest of their years. If you have any questions about adopting a senior pet, please contact our team today!