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Why You Should Adopt a Senior Dog

A senior dog is a dog of any breed who is 8 (in human years!) or older. Sadly, at any animal shelter, it is these older dogs that receive the least number of adoption inquiries. People may be reluctant to adopt an older dog but in reality, senior dogs often make the best companions. “They simply need to be given the chance,” according to Susie’s Senior Dogs – a famous American non-profit organization that works for the welfare of senior dogs.

All about love: Senior dogs are abandoned for a number of reasons. Sometimes their owners feel they cannot care for them any longer. Often, they are what are known as ‘breeder rejects’ – they have been used only for breeding by unscrupulous, evil breeders and are left to die once they can no longer have puppies. Whatever the breed – senior dogs are gentle and loving and are certain to make the most wonderful, loyal comrades for their human families. Foster mother and animal activist, Kanak Vikram, says “They are usually adjusting as they want to be part of a family and be taken care of.”

Great with kids: Chennai-based animal welfare advocate Deepika Murali adds, “Senior dogs can be great companions for families having a dog for the first time. They make excellent pets for people with children for they are gentle and loving.” They’re also great additions to families with younger dogs as they are unlikely to get territorial and get into fights.

No house-training required: Unlike puppies that have a great deal of energy and need to be house-trained, adult dogs are already house-trained. Seniors are past the sometimes trying teething phase and this should make the adoption smoother for pet parents. Adopting a senior also ensures that you do not lose any sleep on chewed-up shoes or furniture. They also require far less exercise so you won’t be woken up early in the morning to go for a walk…your new buddy will probably enjoy those extra 30 minutes of sleep just as we all do!

No hassle of spaying: You won’t have any trouble with your female dog coming on heat or your male dog running off looking for a girlfriend! In most cases, senior dogs that are adopted have either been neutered or have reached the end of their reproductive cycles.

You are earning major karma points: We can’t think of a better way for you to earn yourself that golden karma ticket! You not only adopt a loyal friend and family member but you are also doing something that is so emotionally and spiritually rewarding. Adopting a senior dog who has been used and abused and may have to be euthanized or put down in a shelter (or worse on the roads) is the best ‘good’ deed that you can do.

Don’t believe us…ask the families of senior dogs: If you are thinking of adding a new canine member to your family, take a look at the joyous experiences of senior dogs’ families on the Facebook or Instagram @susiesseniordogs page of ‘Susie’s Senior Dogs’. Vikram says, “When one adopts a senior dog they give him or her a second life…a healer to a broken soul…” You might have a few extra vet visits with an older dog but aside from that, these golden oldies are bound to add immeasurable joy to your lives and to the lives of your family!

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Shibi, like the song in ‘West Side Story’, is oh so pretty, witty and bright! Modest too, but we can discuss that later. A Chennai native (34) who now dwells in the capital, there is nothing she loves more than a good story. Except for a good handbag. A self-professed shopaholic with impeccable taste, the young women’s rights lawyer and mother was ‘discovered’ by an Indian Express editor in Chennai at a famous boutique eight years ago and she has not looked back since. Fashion writing allows her to combine her two greatest loves and Shibi has been published in The Hindu, the Indian Express, Femina, Scroll, Bodahub, Hi-Blitz Magazine and many more. A militant optimist, Shibi abhors armchair activism and suggests that everyone ‘Be the Change’ instead of complaining about Modiji. Or run for POTUS – anybody seems better qualified than Trump. She also loves animals and has orchestrated many a doggy/kitty rescue; her most fervent hope is to see the status and treatment of both animals and women improve in India and the world over. Also, she requests you to RECYCLE and to REUSE. Climate change is real, people. Jai Hind!