October is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, so I want to encourage everyone to consider adopting a mature dog. Although puppies are cute, they are high maintenance! Puppies need extensive training, socialization and almost constant activity. Too often older dogs are abandoned in shelters, often because their owners have passed away. Yet they still have a lot of love to give, plus they are trained! Here are some advantages of adopting a more mature dog:
- Less destructive. Many older pets are well past the digging and chewing everything in sight phase... your shoes should be safe!
- Have basic obedience training. Most, older dogs settle into a new home easily - they've already learned what it takes to get along with others and be part of the "pack". And a big advantage? Most are housebroken!
- You can teach old dogs new tricks. At Bark Busters, we have extensive experience training older dogs that may need some touch up training. They are generally more attentive and eager to please than their younger counterparts. If you are concerned that an older dog won't bond to you, don't be. Dogs are remarkably resilient and open-hearted. Some completely overcome their pasts in a matter of days; others may take a few weeks or months, and a few will carry a little baggage for even longer than that. We can help you work with your dog to overcome any hurdles.
- You can adopt a purebred pet. Many shelters are tailored to a specific breed and have older pets available for adoption.
- Ideal for seniors. Many senior citizens benefit from the company of an older dog, because they are calmer, trained and need less exercise. They are content to move through life at a slower speed.
- There's no guessing. Adult dogs have reached their maximum size, shape and personality. There's no guessing - what you see is what you get! A puppy's size and health can be unpredictable.
- First Pet. If this is your first dog, or if you cannot devote the time necessary to train, socialize, and exercise a puppy properly, an adult dog could be a better option for you.
- You'll be a hero. Older pets seem to have an intrinsic sense that without you, they wouldn't have a home.
Open your heart to a hard-to-place pet and help save the life of a senior dog that is waiting for you at a local shelter!