Already trained and grateful to have a home, a senior pet makes a great addition to the family.

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Are the pleas from the family for a new pet about to wear you down? As cute as they are, training a new puppy or kitten can be a handful. Consider adopting an older pet – already trained and fully-grown, you can by-pass a lot of the work and worry that you will go through with a rambunctious, often-destructive younger pet, and still have a fun-loving, loyal, and important member of the family. Animal shelters are overcrowded and older animals are among the first to be euthanized if they aren’t adopted in a timely manner. Before choosing that young, cuddly ball of trouble, find out why adopting an older pet might be the best thing for your family.

Older Dogs Are (Usually) Already Trained

Many adult dogs up for adoption have spent years living with a family and are accustomed to being around people. Some have been through obedience training and know basic commands, and many are house trained. It may take only a few hours or a week or two for an adopted senior dog to get comfortable and learn a routine in their new home, but the acclimation period won’t be nearly as long as it would be with a new puppy. An older dog is still able to learn new tricks and commands and, with a greater attention span than a puppy, they learn fast and easy.

Older Dogs Are Ready For A Walk

You will spend a lot of time and energy leash training a puppy and getting to the stage where you can comfortably take him on walks without getting tangled and twisted in the leash. Consider an older dog that is already trained; he is more than happy to walk alongside you (instead of pulling you) on your daily hikes.

You Know What You Are Getting

Have you ever chosen a cute little “lab-shepherd” mix only to have it grow into a Great Dane? When you adopt a senior dog, there are no surprises about his final size, color and type of coat. You will also know about any medical conditions, such as failing eyesight or bad hips.

Older Pets Are Usually Calmer  

Since an adult dog has an established demeanor and temperament, you can get a pretty good idea of how he will fit in with your family and any other pets. An older dog has typically outgrown the search-and-destroy phase, so your slippers and furniture will be safer than if you chose a puppy.  A calmer, older dog is also a good companion for an older person. The lower energy level means the pet will be more content to have longer periods of quiet time than high-energy activity.

Older Pets Are Not Always The Problem

There are a number of reasons senior dogs wind up in shelters, and very few of them are the fault of the dog. A job relocation, new baby, allergies, change in work schedule, even death of the owner can lead to a well-loved pet being put up for adoption. These precious animals, confused as to why they are suddenly uprooted and separated from their family, need new homes just as badly as the younger animals.

Older Pets Are Grateful

The older, wiser pets at the shelter seem to understand that their chances of being adopted are slim. While all adopted pets are grateful when you give them a home, a senior pet intuitively recognizes the magnitude of being given a second chance at a loving home. Many thankfully respond to the kind touch of their new owners and quickly form a tender bond with the family.

WATCH: How To Make Any Home Pet Friendly

An older dog can be one from 5 years of age and older. They have a lot of life and love left in them, so give one a second chance at life. You will be forever glad you did.

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