Today’s guest writer is Robbi Hess, Story Editor at Positively Woof. Robbi is writing about how the benefits of loving a senior dog.

As a pet parent to a senior Poodle I can attest to the fact that she gets sweeter every year. I have had Henrietta, the Diva Poodle since she was eight-weeks-old. We have weathered good times and bad together. She has been there for me when I’ve celebrated and when I have experienced loss and have been recovering from surgery and despair. She is in tune with my moods and is always there to lend a comforting paw and a look of love when she stares at me. Yes, she is having hip and knee issues, but she is my companion for life and I will do what it takes to keep her happy, safe and comfortable; it’s a role I signed up for when I committed to bringing her into my life.

As the pet parent to a senior dog I know, from experience, the myriad of benefits loving a senior dog has brought to my life.

If you’re looking to expand your family, I urge you to consider a senior (remember, senior dogs in the eyes of most veterinarians is age seven!) as that dog will shower you with so much love your heart will be full to overflowing every day you spend together.

The Benefits Of Loving A Senior Dog

November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month. Whether you open your heart and home to a senior cat or senior dog, here are the benefits you will find when you bring a senior dog home.

You know what you’re getting. A senior dog is done growing! You won’t be adopting a puppy who weighs three pounds, thinking he will be a tiny dog only to find out he is topping the scales at 100 pounds! When it comes to size, a senior dog is a “what you see is what you get” commodity.

He’s past the “puppy stage.” Let’s face it, puppies are adorable BUT they seem to enjoy chewing shoes, your furniture and anything else they can get their puppy teeth on.

Puppies keep you up at night whether they are barking in their crate or if they need to go outside to potty because of their little bladders! Also, puppies require house training as well as basic obedience training.

A senior dog will likely be better-mannered than a pup and will probably require little in the way of house training or obedience training. However, it’s never a bad idea to take a dog – yes, even a senior – for training because it helps her get more socialization and assures you’re sharing your life with the best dog ever

You can teach your old dog new tricks. Seniors are as eager to please as their puppy counterparts and that means you can teach him to do tricks. Senior dogs love to learn as much as puppies do so find a trick and start teaching!

Older pets love to relax. If you’re a senior yourself or if you simply don’t have the energy to keep up with a puppy, sharing your life with a senior pet means you will still get exercise (your dog will need to walk and go outdoors to do her business, after all).

Senior dogs (even those who are only seven years old) are just as happy sitting on the couch with you as they are exploring the neighborhood on a walk with you. Human seniors who share their lives with a dog or a cat are happier and healthier because they have a companion. Having a dog means you will also need to be more physically active because she will need a walk.

Separation anxiety might not be as much of an issue. Puppies require time and attention – a lot of it! A senior dog, while he still wants your time and attention, may be all right left home alone while you go to work or run errands.

A senior dog may not suffer as much separation anxiety as a puppy would. That being said, when you adopt your senior dog make sure you ask about any potential, or prior, behavioral issues that you may need to work through together. You may be able to alleviate separation anxiety by playing DOGTV – scientifically developed programming aimed at keeping your dog happy and calm and enriching his environment while you’re not home.  

You will be a hero. It’s been said senior dogs – or truthfully – any dog who is rescued or adopted from a shelter has an attitude of gratitude. We don’t say that lightly because we believe shelter dogs know you are their hero, their savior, and they look at their new pet parents with love and gratitude and are eager to please.

Have you adopted a senior dog? What are some of the things you love best about your senior dog?

What do you do to enrich your dog’s environment when he is home alone? Have you tried DOGTV? Sign up for a  free fourteen day trial of DOGTV to help enrich your dog’s environment to alleviate his stress and separation anxiety.

Hey Shelter and Rescue Operators and Organizations, ask us how playing DOGTV in your facility will help to calm dogs and alleviate their stress while they’re waiting for their forever homes. Also, grab your free fourteen day trial of DOGTV to play at the shelter.