Have you ever come across a Facebook post showing adorable puppies looking for fosters and seeing everyone in the comments just begging to bring one home? After all, who can say no to cute little furballs with chubby cheeks, plump bellies, and teeny-weenie paws, right?
The thing is, though—while there’s nothing wrong with wanting to foster puppies—most people have no idea or forget to take into consideration the work (not to mention, the patience) that’s needed to care for younger dogs. Potty-training, puppy-proofing, extended playtime—these are some of the things that you’ll need to be prepared for when bringing home a puppy, but in most cases, problems that you won’t have to deal with when you choose to foster an older dog.
Why Consider Fostering An Older Dog?
The sad reality is that older dogs often get overlooked and spend many years of their lives inside kennel walls, watching as their younger shelter-mates walk past them with new foster parents. It’s even more heartbreaking to think that a lot of these dogs have already been through so much; enduring abandonment, abuse, neglect, or a horrible life in the streets. So here are 7 reasons why we love older dogs and believe that you will, too!
1. Older dogs are calmer.
Like kids, puppies are typically super energetic, curious, and playful. This is why it’s very important to puppy-proof your home and keep an eye on them at all times, or else they’d get themselves into all sorts of trouble. Older dogs, however, are so much calmer and even after just a short stroll around the block would have no problem cuddling up next to you on the couch as you binge-watch your favorite Netflix series.
2. Older dogs come potty-trained.
If you’re someone who doesn’t have the time or patience to potty-train a puppy (or else constantly clean up messes around the house), then you might find an older dog a much better fit. Most of the time, they’re already housebroken or at least disciplined enough to alert you in some way when they need to do their business.
One tip is to take your dog out at the same time every day so they can establish a routine and get used to doing their business outside. That way, even if you forget to let them out that day, they’d find a way to let you know that it’s time to go outside instead of making a mess indoors.
3. With older dogs, what you see is what you get.
Since they’ve already reached maturity, older dogs have a stable temperament, meaning what you see is what you get. A puppy’s personality, on the other hand, is bound to change as they grow up and it’s often difficult to guess how they’ll turn out.
And while there are steps you can take to help them develop the traits that you want in a furry family member, according to PetMD, there’s no way to fully change what they’re genetically predisposed to become
. So if you’re looking for a dog that gets along with cats or great with kids, then it easier to simply find an older dog that already possesses those qualities.
4. Older dogs are easier to care for.
When your daily routine consists of ticking off seemingly neverending boxes on your to-do list, squeezing in time to tend to the needs of a puppy can be so much more challenging than with an older dog. While puppies usually require a lot of time and attention—specifically, with training, housebreaking, and exercising to prevent destructive behaviors—older dogs are typically less demanding and mature enough to stay out of trouble even without you constantly hovering over them.
5. Older dogs are incredibly thankful.
One of the most amazing things about older dogs is that they really know how to make the people who take a chance on them feel super special. They recognize that someone has finally given them a chance to not only step out of their kennel and spend time in a less stressful environment but also a second shot at a finding a forever home.
6. Older dogs are usually great with kids and the elderly.
Because of their calm nature, older dogs normally do very well with young children and the elderly. Unlike younger canines, older dogs are typically gentler and more tolerant towards kids and are relaxed enough to be around our grandmas and grandpas without causing trouble. Of course, no matter the type or age of your foster pet, it’s very important to teach children the proper way to approach and treat animals to prevent problems.
7. And yes, old dogs can learn new tricks!
The truth is, it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. As a matter of fact, it’s actually easier to train older dogs
because they have more self-control and unlike puppies, are less likely to get distracted. Their ability to focus makes it easier for them to absorb new knowledge and learn new tricks and routines faster than a hyperactive, uber curious pup.
Ready to find yourself an older dog to foster?