Adopting a Senior Dog
We recently asked our Facebook Family – “What would stop you from adopting or caring for a Seriously Senior Dog”? The overwhelming response was:
- Emotional Toll
- Time and Effort
We know at HWAH, the reward of adopting a senior dog will far outweigh the challenges. This week we want to focus on Time & Effort…
The Time and Effort:
Be prepared to dedicate a significant amount of time to caring for your senior dog. You’ll need to observe them for changes in mood, diet or physical abilities. Older dogs require more attention and patience, with more visits to the vet and possibly daily dosing of medications. They may need help in getting around and you might have to consider changing the layout of some rooms in your house so a senior dog doesn’t have to climb stairs and can navigate the house easily with little obstruction. And, like any dog, they’ll need good nutrition, exercise and grooming. But mostly, be prepared to spend way too much time giving lots of love and hugs.
Senior dogs have had a chance to mellow out and, while they’re still ready and willing to head out on a hike or a romp in the park, they don’t have that rambunctious puppy energy that requires constant movement. For someone looking for a companion who likes to go for a nice stroll before hanging out quietly on the couch together, senior dogs are the perfect match.
Even so, they do still need movement. Some sort of activity — whether that’s walking, playing tug-o-war or swimming — is an important part of a senior dog’s health. As Senior Tail Waggers points out, “Regular, gentle and appropriate daily exercise helps keep an older dogs joints, ligaments and muscles strong and supple, improve blood flow, reduce pain and/or inflammation, boost his mood and improve his overall quality of life.”
Finding a dog that is already a perfect fit for your activity level is a key reward for adopting a senior dog.