7 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog in Amesbury, MA

Are you thinking of adopting a four-legged family member? If so, you have probably put a lot of thought into the type of dog you want, and the type of dog that would be best for your lifestyle. While seeing all the puppies may be exciting, while you are visiting the shelter do not overlook the sweet senior dogs. Often, they prove to be a great addition to a home, without starting from scratch like you would with a new puppy.

How Do Senior Dogs End Up in Shelters?

There are several reasons that dogs, especially seniors, end up in shelters. Aside from living on the street, or being lost, sometimes elderly pets are simply surrendered because their owners can no longer care for them. Many senior dogs have lived with only one family their entire lives, and some of the more common reasons they are surrendered to the shelter include:


Senior dogs many times end up in shelters because their owner is relocating, such as to a senior living facility or to a home where dogs are not welcomed, or because of a death.

Financial Troubles

As pets age, sometimes they do require more care to help them lead happy, healthy lives. For some pet owners, the financial strain is too much. In some cases, the owner will surrender their pet to give them a better life.

Lifestyle Changes

Life is constantly changing. Sometimes, that means a family is no longer able to care for a pet. Those life changes can include marriages and divorces, as well as job changes and health issues.

No Longer Committed

While sad, in some cases a family may feel that their senior dog is just too much trouble. As pets age, they will sometimes require more attention, and the family may just no longer have the time to care for their pet.

While some of these situations are unavoidable, you can help give a senior dog a good life for their remaining years. For their unconditional love, they deserve to be happy, comfortable, and loved.

Adopting a Senior Dog in Amesbury, MA

Benefits of Adopting a Senior Dog

In a shelter setting, it may be hard for older dogs to compete with bouncing puppies. But just because they are senior dogs does not mean they do not have a lot of love to offer your home. And there are many benefits.

1. Personality

With puppies, it can be hard to predict what they will be like when they get older. Senior dogs, however, are already set in their ways. From your first meeting with your potential new pet, you will know if they have a lot of energy, or if they prefer a calmer setting. This will help you make the best decision about whether this pet could be the one for you. Senior dogs often do well with younger children, as they have lower energy and may have been around children before going to the shelter.

2. Less Training

If you have ever adopted a puppy, you know that training can be frustrating for both you and the dog. There is a good chance with senior dogs, though, that they already know some basic commands. Potty training is also an important part of taking in a new pet, and a senior pet will likely already have some idea of what is expected of them. This will make the transition into your home much easier. Senior dogs are typically past the chewing phase, so you will not have to worry as much about furniture and other items dogs enjoy chewing on, such as shoes.

3. Instant Best Friend

When it comes to senior pets in shelters, many of them have come from homes. That means they are used to be around people, and their socialization skills have them ready to make a new friend. Not to mention, you will be your new dog’s hero for giving them a new home. It will help you to really bond with your new pet in those first days and weeks.

4. Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks

People learn and grow throughout their lives. While some can be more stubborn than others, dogs can be trained at any age. The benefit in teaching a new trick, or new command, to an older dog is that they probably have a little bit longer of an attention span than a puppy. Their calmer demeanor will also make training a little easier than with an energetic puppy.

5. Less Time/Supervision

Between frequent potty breaks, cleaning up after them, and making sure they are safe, caring for a puppy can be a demanding job for any pet owner. While senior dogs still need to be loved on, and still enjoys playing and spending time with you, they are much more laid back, and make perfect partners for curling up next to you to take a power nap or watch your favorite shows with you.

6. Save Money

Senior dogs typically spend a lot longer waiting to be adopted than puppies. For this reason, many organizations offer specials on their adoption fees. Some shelters and rescues even have programs in which donors can sponsor a pet’s adoption fee when they find the right home.

7. Health History

There are many conditions and diseases that can impact a pet’s life. Obviously, with a puppy these problems may develop over time. With a senior dog you may have a full history of their health, especially if they have lived in a home previously. This will give you an idea of what kind of issues you may face by taking the dog into your home, and any other special needs they may have.

Meet a Senior Dog Today

Above anything else, your senior pet is going to bring joy into your life, as well as gratitude. The gratitude you see when your new best friend wags his tail when he sees, knowing it has a loving place to call home, and loving people call family, it will surely bring a smile to your face.

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Merrimac Valley Animal Hospital had humble beginnings in 1968. Dr. Walter Brown opened the animal hospital in a garage next to his home near the current hospital and operated out of this small space until the current building was built in 1969.