We’ve been focusing a lot on senior rescue dogs, lately. That’s because older dogs make great pets, but potential adopters of all ages overlook them time and again. They’re also abandoned at shelters at higher rates than younger animals.
Sadly, these two factors lead to high euthanasia rates for senior dogs, even if they are perfectly healthy or have manageable health issues. The situation is even more dire for animals like the ones in our article about Rescue Ranch special needs and senior dogs fosters.
National adoption numbers for shelter dogs of any age are always lower than we would like. But, whereas the adoption rate for younger animals is roughly 60%, it drops to 20-25% for seniors.
In our view, that number is tragically low and is not a good indicator of the “adoptability” of those dogs. Many senior dogs (and cats for that matter) would make wonderful companions if people would just give them a chance.
In last week’s article, we made the case for the adoption of older dogs by senior adopters. That’s because their needs often align. Now, in honor of “Adopt a less Adoptable Pet” Week (September 12 – 18), we want to argue for the adoption of senior dogs, generally.
Yes, older dogs are often a good choice if you’re a senior yourself, but they can be a wonderful option at any age. The one exception we would make is that they’re not necessarily ideal for a family with young children. But even then, there are exceptions.
Of course, older dogs are not suitable for everyone. They do tend to have more health issues, they typically incur higher medical costs, and they don’t have the boundless energy of a young dog on the hiking trail.
That being said, there are many circumstances when an older dog is a good choice regardless of your age if:
- You’re not particularly active but want a companion.
- You live in an apartment or don’t have a yard.
- You have a younger dog already, and want to give another dog a chance at life.
- Your children are in their teens or older.
- You want a “what you see is what you get” dog. In other words, if you want to have a pretty good idea of your dog’s personality when you adopt.
- You are active but you would prefer a more mature dog. Dogs are considered seniors at seven years old, when most breeds still have years of active, fun, high quality life ahead of them.
Are you ready to open your heart and home to a senior rescue dog who desperately needs you and will love you back without reservation? Then Rescue Ranch urges you to consider adopting a senior rescue dog. Regardless of their age or challenges, they still deserve a loving home to live out their lives in dignity.