Adopting An Older Dog | The Pros and Cons

There are too many dogs in animal shelters looking for their forever home. Unfortunately, when it comes to adopting a dog, most people choose the dogs that are puppies or younger in age, leaving the older dogs behind.

Before you begin Adopting an Older Dog read our Pros and Cons

Adopting an Older Dog

Adopting an Older Dog can be Incredibly Rewarding

Sometimes, though, since puppies and younger dogs are adopted most often, some shelters only have older dogs left. Before you decide to adopt an older or not to adopt an older dog, the following are the pros and cons you need to consider.

Pro: They’re usually trained.

If you’re looking for a dog that already knows basic commands and is already housebroken, an older dog is your best bet. Older dogs usually come from loving homes and are let go due to the owner’s inability to continue caring for it. Because the dog is already trained, you will be able to enjoy the company of your dog right away without having to spend days (or weeks) training the dog or losing sleep as you try to housebreak it.

Con: They may not be in optimal health.

Dogs are like humans, in that the older they get, the more health problems they have. While older dogs still have plenty of love to give, it’s likely they may not be as physically active as younger dogs. Older dogs may not be able to accompany you on your long runs throughout town, and they may have a hard time making it up and down stairs. Some older dogs may also suffer from other illnesses or diseases that require the use of daily medications. This is something you need to consider before adopting an older dog.

Pro: They just want someone to love them.

No dog wants to spend the last years of its life living in a kennel. Just because a dog is older doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have love to give you—it does. Older dogs are much more appreciative of being adopted than younger dogs, which will make them more loyal to you and more willing to please you as best they can.

Con: They may be set in their ways.

Younger dogs have the ability to be trained to do certain things, perform certain commands or even live in certain conditions (such as with young children or other pets). Older dogs may already be set in their ways, which means you may have a hard time training them to do something new or teaching them to get along with your other pets or family members.

Pro: They’re cheaper.

Because most older dogs don’t seem to find their forever home, most animal shelters are willing to lower the price to help ensure the dog is given to a loving family. This means that the general adoption fees for an older dog will be significantly less than those incurred when adopting a puppy or younger dog. If you want a dog, but find you’re on a very tight budget, adopting an older dog can be the perfect solution.

Con: You will not enjoy them as long.

No pet owner wants to say goodbye to their pooch, and most people opt to adopt younger dogs because it will allow them to spend more years with the animal. Unfortunately, most older dogs will not live much longer after they’re adopted, which means that the family will find themselves having to say goodbye sooner than planned.

Danielle Nottingham is a blogger for who loves to cover animal adoption and the qualities of various dogs.

Elizabeth Crane

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