Top 10 Reasons for Adopting an Older Dog

Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic
10 rewarding reasons for adopting an older dog

It’s a sad fact that when it comes to adoption, older dogs in shelters and rescues have a harder time finding a new forever home. But we can think of a ton of reasons for adopting an older dog. We’re restricted to just the Top 10, but we think you’ll be convinced that adopting an older dog can bring new joy and love into your home. Photo credit: Kathy Doucette

  1. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Not us! Dogs learn new stuff throughout their lifetime… and this includes good and bad habits! So be sure to keep your older dog on his paws by teaching him new tricks and commands that will ensure his mind and body stay sharp and in shape. Photo credit: Kathy Doucette
  • They deserve to live the rest of their lives in a loving, caring home. They may have had a hard life or they may be the victims of an unplanned event (like a move or a death). But older dogs should be able to spend their final years with a family or person that will make them happy. Photo credit: Kathy Doucette
  • Older dogs are easier to train. Because they are much more focused and calm than a puppy, it’s easier to train an older dog. And they also come with many years of previous training experience, so they will be able to pick up what you’re saying and do what you want. Photo credit: Kathy Doucette
  • Older dogs love the laid-back life. Don’t feel like walking your dog ever hour to get rid of all that excess, pent-up energy? Then get an older dog! He’ll just want to chill on the couch and keep you company. After all, these are his retirement years – he just wants to relax and keep you company. Photo credit: Dave Fayram
  • Accidents and messes aren’t an issue. You’ll find fewer messes to step in with an older dog. That’s because they’ve already been housetrained. There’s no need to put out the newspapers for this senior. On top of that, older dogs are less likely to chew on things they are not supposed to – they’ve already worked out the destructive chewing behavior out of their systems. Photo credit: Kathy Doucette
  • Time commitment. For people who don’t know where they’ll end up in a few years, an older dog is a wonderful way to get a doggy fix without the 15 year commitment. If you’re elderly or don’t want to be tied down for too long, a senior dog will fit into your life plans.

  • Older dogs will fit it to your household a lot quicker than a puppy will. These dogs already know how to belong to pack and will roll with what the rest of the family is doing. Photo credit: Paulo Brandao

  • You can have a life. Puppies and younger dogs require more of your time, so you are restricted when it comes to extracurricular activities. Not so with an older dog. You don’t need to watch them all day, every day. So go ahead and do your own thing – a senior dog won’t mind! Photo credit: Michelle Ress

  • Older dogs are an open book. Everything about them is assembled for your convenience. They’ve grown to their full size, full coat and a full personality. You won’t be in for any surprises. Photo credit: Blue♦Gum

  • And the best reason of all – you’re saving a life. Like we mentioned before, older dogs are the last to be adopted, which means they are the first to be put down. And your new old dog will thank you for saving his life every day! Photo credit: Kate Ter Haar

  • If you have more reasons to add on why adopting an older dog is so awesome, please add them in the comment section below.

    Amy Tokic
    Amy Tokic

    Amy Tokic, Editor of, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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