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Adopt a senior dog Month


November is adopt a senior dog month!


Why adopt a senior dog?
Below are a few facts to be considered when it comes to adopting a senior dog.

What are families looking for?

Prospective families looking to adopt a new dog typically focus on one thing and that is usually about adopting a puppy. Families want a puppy so that they “can grow with the family” or because it's "cute and cuddly".

Understandable in some situations but what about senior dogs that are available?
Why not are they so overlooked?

Let's take senior citizen people for example. If you were in your seventies, would you adopt a puppy that might outlive you or lived longer than you were able to care for it? This hardly makes sense.
Too often that pet ends up at the pound because none of the remaining family are willing or able to take over the responsibility after the owner has passed away. It's a terribly sad predicament, but it happens often.

Raising a puppy can be lot of work!
If you’re retired and are convinced you want a puppy instead of an older dog, make sure your retirement is not going to get in the way of providing all the needs that a new puppy comes with. Also, make arrangements so that if you are not able to provide for him any longer that you have someone who is willing and able to do so.

What about young families?
If you do not have kids yet what happens when you do? Will you be the couple that says “We need to find a home for Buster because we have a new baby now and just don’t have time for him.”? Again, this is heard of often and is unfair to the dog.

If you adopt a dog and then have children; be prepared to incorporate your pet into your new family. There are many resources that can assist you in preparing Buster for the new addition to the family, therefore making the transition much easier and with a much happier outcome.

Our Professional Dog Trainer, Kathrine Breeden, owner of www.bekindtodogs.com can teach you and show you what you can to do to make Buster comfortable with the baby and to live happily with the family for the remainder of his life. 

Why is it so easy for us to forget that there are senior dogs that are looking for permanent, loving homes?

Remember this:
When a family surrenders a senior dog, whatever the circumstances are; what happens to the dog?

As stated above, too often the dog ends up at the pound or taken to an animal shelter........ IF they are lucky enough to find a shelter who has room for them or accepts owner surrendered pets. There are many articles circulating on facebook showing dogs who were in the lobby of an animal control office and the horrified look on their faces when they realized their family was leaving them there, or the dog who sat facing the corner of it's kennel, heartbroken because he knew what just happened. 

We've all seen them and they're heartbreaking.
Another probable reason people pass on adopting senior dogs is that they think the older dog will have health problems. They may assume that they will need to take over the expenses and this, they financially find undesirable. What people don't realize is that most Shelters have already addressed current health issues and will continue to pay for any needed or on going medications and/or tests, at least for some time.

So how much does owning a puppy cost? Let's compare:
Of course not that adopting a puppy can't be fulfilling and amazing, but we are focusing on senior dogs this month so please take that into consideration while reading this article.

On average a new puppy can cost a family $1,000 or more it's first year of life. Yes, $1,000 or more
The factors that may lessen that amount are:
  • If the puppy is already spayed or neutered.
  • If the puppy has already received his first vaccines, heartworm testing, given dewormer, heartworm prevention and flea and tick prevention.
  • If the puppy is already microchipped from the place of adoption. 
Truth of the matter is, this may save you initial costs, but there will still be ongoing expenses! 


Here's a list of some of the on-going expenses you will assume when adopting a puppy instead of a senior dog: 
  • The remainder of the puppy's vaccines and veterinarian appointments. Puppy vaccines are every 3-4 weeks until the age of 14-18 weeks. This depends on the age the puppy began vaccines and in most cases there is an exam fee with each vaccine appointment.  
  • Stool test to check for intestinal parasites
  • Spay or Neuter surgery
  • Microchip implant and registration
  • House training supplies
  • A professional dog trainer for basic training and socialization and/or if your puppy is displaying any behavior problems. (Socialization is extremely important between the ages of 12 to 16 weeks of age.This is important for your pup to develop into a confident, social dog). If you don't have the time to spend socializing your puppy, his chances of becoming fearful or aggressive towards certain things/people, are high.
Grooming


Breeds requiring regular grooming will need to have their first puppy grooming around 3-4 months of age. The first appointment is very calming and soothing. Having a professional groomer that knows how important this first appointment is can mean the difference of how your pet will handle future grooms. The appointment helps them to become familiar with the noises of the dryers, clippers, motors and bathing. These sounds and smells can be frightening if not handled the appropriate way.

Crate training
Crate training will be good if you plan on using it for pup's sleeping quarters or for his "safe place" when too many people are around. Remember, crate training is not only for the safety of your pet; but for people and children in your home as well. The crate needs to be a safe, fun place for him, think of it as his den!  

Bedding and play
Your new pup will also need something to sleep on! 
Appropriate toys (each stage of pups life might require new toys) toys are an on-going expense and must be monitored when in use for your pups safety.
Collars and harnesses for outdoor fun are an obvious need. Remember, no shock, no choke and no bark collars!
Pet Sitting
A trusted pet sitter. You don't plan on staying home forever, do you?

All of the above are likely more expensive than if you only had to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for an initial exam that might include
blood work and a urinalysis. This assures that your veterinarian has a solid starting profile of your senior dog's health. Of course some of the things listed above are also needed by a senior pet, the beds, the toys, the dishes, etc.

Senior pets are most likely already obedient, house trained (No potty pads or additional training) and most bad habits have been gone for a long time! (Chewing on shoes, eating the couch, etc.) He is already socialized so you won't need to spend the extra time you will need to commit to or money spent on a dog trainer. As for crates, this depends on the dog, but often at an older age the crate is a thing of the past; so you won't need to spend extra cash on the purchase of a new one.
Also remember that most, if not all, animal shelters will not adopt a pet without already being spayed or neutered, having a microchip implanted and registered, at least one or two needed vaccines, dewormer if needed, and even socialization training if needed.

What you'll get


A gentle, loving, trusting companion, a new member of your family, and pure, unconditional love from a dog who will spend the rest of his days thanking you for saving him. Now that's worth the price of gold.

This month, and all months after, please consider adopting a senior dog. 

For further information on senior pets for adoption, please check out several links.

1. www.azfriends.org

2. https://www.facebook.com/azcarerescue?pnref=lhc

3. www.azhumane.org

4. https://aawl.org/

5. http://www.adoptapet.com/adoption_rescue/78254.html

While there are plenty more websites you will find on the Internet, please investigate thoroughly to make sure they are a legitimate rescue or foundation.
All Photos are the property of Kim MacCrone. Copying is not authorized. 
Thanks pet owners!
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