Tips for adopting a senior dog

By / 10 years ago / Animal Rescue, News, Senior Dogs / 5 Comments
Tips for adopting a senior dog

By Dana Notman

Gorgeous senior Cocoa is looking for a home right now!

When you choose to adopt a senior dog, you are making a commitment to the dog to love him and care for him in whatever way he needs. There are a few differences in caring for an older dog versus caring for a brand new puppy. Here are tips to making his furever home as fantastic as he is.

1. Learn what you can about your new dog’s history
When you adopt from a senior dog rescue or an animal shelter, you’ll be provided with the available health and lifestyle history of the dog. Some senior dogs were abandoned or were strays and there isn’t much history available. Absorb whatever dog history you can to learn the most about your new friend  and get ready to start building the next chapter in his life.

2.Bring him to the vet for a checkup
At most dog shelters or senior dog rescues, your pet will have a full checkup to make sure he’s healthy enough to be placed in a new home. However to get the scoop from your own vet, bring your new friend in for another checkup to make sure everything is okay and drop off your dog’s health records for the vet to keep on file. If you’re looking for a list of questions to ask your vet, Doctors Foster and Smith has a great list of Senior Pet FAQs that will help educate you on your new senior dog.

3. Ease him into his new home

Don’t expect your new furry friend to warmly accept every person, smell and sound in your home instantly. Let her learn the ropes and become familiar with her new surroundings and new family. She will soon become comfortable in her new home and learn to love you more than you thought possible. If you can bring some of her old toys or blankets with her, those comforting smells will really help. Don’t feel bad if this takes time. It can take weeks for YOU to settle into a new home. Why should it be any different for your dog?

3. Give him the best food

Your senior dog is going to have different nutritional needs than a puppy. Make sure you are giving him the best food you can. If the food he was receiving at the shelter isn’t the best health option, start weening him off that food slowly by mixing in more and more of his new, better food. This will ensure he doesn’t get an upset stomach during the transition and will give him the health food benefits he needs. has great tips for feeding an older dog. Cosmo and Bart eat Flint River Trout and Potato. It has lots of fish oil and no by-products.

4. Give him lots of love
The most important thing you can do after you’ve adopted a senior dog is to give him a lot of love. Show him you care and that you are happy he is a part of your family. Take care of him and you’ll have a new best friend furever!

If you’d like to adopt a senior dog is a great way to find your new friend at a local animal shelter or senior dog rescue.

Don’t forget, senior dogs also fostering more than any others. If you’re not sure whether you can adopt, try fostering a dog first.

We found some more great advice for bringing home a senior dog at the The Senior Dogs Project We’d also like to hear from our readers! Have you adopted a senior dog? Let us know some of your tips for an easy transition into a new furever home!

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  • UK Pet Sitter Guy15. Oct, 2010

    I love senior dogs. I think that they are often hghly underated because most people opt for puppies or young dogs, but the great thing is that by adopting a senior dog you know that however bad their life has been before you can help them end their remaining life in a positive enjoyable fashion. I do agree that the best food makes all the difference as you just don’t know what their diet has been like previously

    • bart21. Oct, 2010

      And really grateful for a warm bed and nice bowl of kibble!

  • Cuccioli Animali17. Oct, 2010

    You really need to love animals to adopt a senior dog, but that’s really a wonderful gift for a pet that otherwise would end is life in a dog pound.
    If you are such a good persona, the tips of this post will be very useful for you.

  • george21. Oct, 2010

    as soon as we said we had kids we were told
    there were no dogs available at our rescue centre.
    in the end we had to buy a puppy

  • Christie21. Oct, 2010

    I volunteer at a shelter, and the senior dogs always end up being my favorites! They always seem so sweet and cuddly.

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