Dkrainwater’s Weblog

Bringing a Senior Dog Into a New Household

Posted on: November 3, 2008

There are a myriad of reasons that older dogs are taken to shelters and it usually isn’t for behavioral problems. Usually the dog is up for adoption for reasons that pertained to the owner not the older dog. Sometimes people get the idea that the dog is up for adoption because it’s inferior in some way, but many pure bred dogs end up in shelters too. Here are some of the reasons that older dogs lose their homes.

Many times people buy a dog on an impulse or for some use like protection, if the dog’s usefulness wears out or the owner just gets tried of caring for the animal, he may end up in a shelter. This is more problematic for older dogs because so many people want to adopt a younger dog, especially if they have children. A puppy has the knack of being cute and that is hard to ignore. Sometimes the dog’s owner dies and leaves the dog companion behind and there isn’t any family to take care of him or they don’t want a dog. This situation is particularly traumatic for a senior dog.

It’s harder for the senior dog to lose a home because he may not get another one. This can happen become the owner decides he doesn’t have enough time anymore for his pet, the owners work schedule changes and he feels that interferes with taking care of his dog, such as walking him and is therefore afraid of accidents in the home, which are more likely with a senior dog. A new baby can be a reason for the senior dog to be ousted from his home. People are afraid that the senior dog will nip at the baby when it becomes a toddler is not old enough to explain about not disturbing King while he’s asleep. And King as a senior doesn’t necessarily respond well to being suddenly awakened.

King’s people may need to move and have to move where dogs are not allowed. So off King goes to the pound. Now he’s feeling depressed and anxious for his owner to come back and get him, but that isn’t going to happen. For a senior dog that may have health problems the stress of losing his home and felling abandoned can aggravate his ailments. The dog may be abandoned because the kids have gone away to college, he has allergies, or the new spouse doesn’t like dogs. While you may wonder how someone could get rid of King for most of these reasons, it’s a fact that it does happen and the parade of elderly dogs through shelters proves the sad tale.

If you would like to give an abandoned senior dog a new home consider these advantages of getting an older dog for a pet. Usually these dogs have been house trained, though while they are still upset they may not remember their training for a short period of time. But it will come back to them. They have already been socialized. They know how to get along with family members and in some cases cats too. They are companions ready to go walking and for car rides with you and will generally be good company, while not disturbing you when you are reading or watching TV. They’ve already learn not to chew your belongings and they know what no means.

An older dog who needs a home will already know how to behave in the house. You won’t have to adapt the house for him like with a puppy, keeping things out of his way.

Kellie Rainwater is an avid dog letter and has written many articles and books about aging dogs and the grief one suffers as a pet ages and dies. To learn more about senior canines go to for senior dog products, books, beds, supplements and more.


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