If you go to any community shelter, you will notice that there are as many senior dogs looking for a home as puppies of whom are as friendly, active and affectionate as the younger pups, all looking for a second chance. Dogs are considered senior between the age of five to seven years, depending upon the breed. Bigger dogs age faster and hence fall into the 'senior dog' category sooner, compared to the smaller breeds.
In the picture on left is CX, a 10 year old lively and friendly dame, who has spent at least 6 years of her life at OSCAS shelter and still looking for a real home.
In Singapore, the most common reason why you may find a senior dog at a shelter would be because the family has moved and unable to take the dog along, new baby expected (that's one myth we will be blogging about next!), death of a guardian or a community dog caught and brought in. Whatever be the reason, most of these dogs are full of life, trained and keen to show their loyalty and love!
If you are on the fence and undecided if you should adopt a senior dog, here's top 5 reasons to help you decide:
1. You love dogs but work full-time
If you and your partner are both working, chances are taking in a puppy would be tough as you may not have all the extra time required to bring up a puppy. A senior dog is already potty trained, will know the rules of the game in interacting with humans and may most likely know basic commands too.
2. If you can learn something new, so can a dog
When is the last time you learned something new? It was possible right, even if it may have taken a little more time! The same logic applies to older dogs - some may take a little longer, but they are just as eager and keen to learn, be engaged and interact with their human.
3. A companion for your young kids or aging parents
Older dogs have lower energy levels compared to puppies and they have the maturity to understand the consequences of their action. For families with younger kids or an aging parent, adopting an older dog is perfect as he or she would fit in well as a companion and you do not have to worry about the potty-training, teething puppy phase.
4. Bring home a friend for your present pet
A lot of animal lovers give a home to more than one dog to ensure the dogs have each other as companion, but when one dog passes away, we can see the grieving in the one left behind and it can be heartbreaking. While it is recommended to allow your pet to go through the grieving process with you for a few months, it may help bring some new energy into the household if you introduce your pet to a new friend after a gap. Of course it is your responsibility to ensure the group dynamics play out well and natural territorial reactions are respected.
5. Adopting an older dog may save a life
Older dogs need homes as badly as puppies and the shelters are usually full of older dogs. Imagine having lived a free and happy life for a few years and then, for absolutely, no fault of yours, you are moved into a shelter - it can be a sad experience for any dog and if you have it in your heart and home to give back a loving home to a senior dog, the gratitude will be returned with lots of love and loyalty.
If even one of our top five points resonate with you, join us at the SOSD #OLDISGOLD Adoption drive this Sunday 12th June between 2:30-5:30pm at SOSD Rehab Centre (22 Pasir Ris Farmway 2, Swift Singapore Block C, #01-13/14 Singapore 519325).