Many people love the idea of adopting a dog and have it become part of the family. Even though you can buy a puppy from a breeder, there are plenty of dogs in animal shelters, so it is always advisable to adopt one instead of shopping for one.
However, adopting an adult dog can come with a specific set of responsibilities that perhaps not everyone is willing to assume.
For example, adopting and educating a senior dog presents a particular challenge since it has likely suffered abandonment or trauma before coming to you.
It is essential to clarify that a dog is considered senior when it reaches seven years of age. Or, in some cases, nine years or more, especially when it comes to smaller dogs, which mature slower than larger breeds.
Although adopting an older dog brings many advantages, today, we explain five challenges that you must face to ensure that the family member’s arrival is a success.
Over the years, a pet’s health becomes more fragile. Therefore, it is crucial to bear in mind that, as a rule, an older dog will have more health problems than a puppy.
Some of the most common age-related health problems in dogs are vision or hearing loss. That implies, among other things, that it can be more expensive to adopt them due to veterinary visits and treatments.
Another downside to adopting adult dogs is that the dog’s past may not be known. It is impossible to know what good or bad experiences they have had in her life that may influence their behavior in certain situations.
You will have to evaluate their reactions to other people, other animals, and specific situations such as getting in the car, going out for a walk, or being in certain places.
While it is possible to work on their confidence if they have had a terrible experience, it is always more challenging to do it with older dogs than with a puppy.
It may take a long time for older dogs to change behaviors that you consider inappropriate, harmful, or even unacceptable.
It is not the same to educate a dog when it is young than when it is grown up since older dogs tend to have their character and habits more deeply rooted.
Besides, they can be more rebellious against change. Patience and time will be essential to educate them.
For example, if your new dog has never been potty trained, an excellent way to do this would be to always have dog treats on hand to reward him every time he does his business outside or in the correct place.
They Have Less Energy
You cannot expect the same energy and daily activity levels from an adult or senior dog you would expect from a puppy.
Some people see this as a positive thing, and others consider it a disadvantage. Old dogs tire faster, and although they need physical activity, their body puts a limit on them, and you will have to respect it.
Take this into consideration if you are looking for a dog to accompany you for exercise or long walks.
They Will Spend Less Time with You
Although it may seem obvious, it is still worth remembering this. An old dog may have already lived more than half his life, and the time he spends with you will not be the same as if he were a puppy.
You should consider that, especially if you have young children who may be sad to see their pet leave too soon.
Adopting an older dog comes with a lot of challenges. However, these dogs are full of love and will certainly brighten your days.
They will also be infinitely happy and grateful to you for offering them a home where they can have fun and relax. Giving them a happy golden age will likely be worth facing some challenges together.