The 5 Best Things to Love About Senior Dogs

A few things in life get better with age - friendships, wine, and… dogs!

Nov 5, 2023byThalia Oosthuizen
best things to love about senior dogs

Most people are immediately drawn to puppies – and who wouldn’t, they are so cute and full of energy. But there is a lot to say about choosing a senior pooch.

You don’t need to worry about taking them for a run every day or risk the life of your furniture. Or coming home to puddles and landmines all over the house. Or even going through the tedious task of teaching them right from wrong.

What you do get is a loyal friend and companion to enjoy life’s moments with. Below, we will look at the five best things to love about senior dogs.

When Is a Dog Considered “Senior”?

old golden retriever

Before we get into the reasons for loving older pups, we need to look at when a dog is considered a “senior.”

A dog falls into the senior category between the ages of 6 and 12, depending on the breed of dog. The size of the dog also plays a factor in aging. Larger dogs age sooner than smaller breeds.

  • Small dogs become seniors at 10 to 12 years old
  • Medium dogs become seniors at 8 to 9 years old
  • Large or giant dogs become seniors at 6 to 7 years old

If you are unsure of whether your dog classifies as a senior pooch, it is best to consult with your vet. This will also determine the food your dog will need.

They Do Not Chew Up Everything in Your Home

senior dog bed

All proud dog owners can remember the day they brought their scrappy little puppy home. For those first few days or so, everything was lovely. Then, when it came time to leave the dog by itself for a bit, it made a mess and chewed up the living room.

Luckily, as dogs age and mature, their most ferocious instincts become more tempered. By the time your dog is a senior, you don’t have to worry about them destroying your house the moment they are alone. You can spend less time puppy-proofing your house and more time enjoying your dog’s company.

Enjoy a Slower Pace of Life

training senior husky

Puppies are delightful little creatures, especially with those huge eyes and wagging tails. A puppy can bring joy and excitement to even the most downtrodden of homes. But they can also uproot your established routines with their unlimited energy.

For most people, the erratic behavior of puppies is an integral part of learning to love them. But even for the most dedicated puppy owners, keeping up with the little bundles of energy can feel like running a marathon.

All this changes when it comes to senior dogs. In contrast to the breakneck pace of their younger years, a dog’s elder years are often spent in calmness. You replace chasing your dog around with sitting with them on the patio and enjoying the sunrise or a gentle walk on the beach.

Their Behavior is Already Quite Set and Predictable

senior dog walk

It is no secret that a puppy can bring joy to your life. But they can leave you with a few more gray hairs than you started with. Puppies demand constant care and attention. And they tend to act out when they do not receive it.

This makes going about your daily routine much more difficult. Besides learning your puppy’s behaviors, you will also need to clean up after them when they make a mess, which happens a lot.

In contrast, while not necessarily docile, senior dogs come with a more forgiving learning curve. Their patterns and mannerisms are well-defined. This makes it much easier to adapt to their needs.

Very Devoted and Loyal

labrador walk river

Dogs are easy to love because they give out their love freely. Unlike cats, who exist in a state of constant wanderlust, dogs are more inclined to stay by your side.

Of course, younger dogs have a childlike sense of wonder that can sometimes cause them to stray from you. This forces you to chase after them if you hope to build a solid relationship with them.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the time to run around like a headless chicken in the hopes of enjoying some good quality time with their dog.

Luckily, senior dogs tend to stick with you whenever you are around. If you have had them since they were a puppy, they are likely to be very devoted to you. This provides an irreplaceable sense of companionship.

Easy to Train as They Are More Patient

loyal senior dog

Many dog owners become so enamored by the creatures in their care that they adopt even more. After all, although the process can be taxing at times, the reward of a dog’s love and affection is all worth it.

But one aspect of a dog’s upbringing that most people are not keen on repeating is training. Training your dog requires consistent, concentrated effort. It can prove to be a nightmare if your dog is hyperactive and always searching for stimulation.

Adopting a senior dog gives you all the rewards of owning a dog, including love, loyalty, and warmth. And you don’t have to go through any of the hassles with training, puppy-proofing, and chasing them down.

Hopefully, we have convinced you of the many pleasures of owning a senior dog. These wise old canines can add much value to your life.

They make for some of the best and most loyal companions a person could ever ask for. If you ever have the opportunity to adopt a senior dog, do not let it pass you by.

Thalia Oosthuizen
byThalia Oosthuizen

Thalia has been a freelance writer for over a decade and a dog (and animal) lover for over 30 years. She grew up on a farm where, at one stage, she had 15 dogs. She currently has one dog, Avery - an adorable pavement special with an extra toe on each foot, and two rescue cats - Boris and Mango. In her spare time, Thalia enjoys running, cycling, swimming, and reading