Elderly dogs can be like some elderly people among us: set in their ways and resistant to change! This makes finding a new home for one a bit of a challenge. If you unfortunately find that you can no longer provide for your elderly dog, we advise that you first talk to your vet, family members, and friends to see if you can set up a temporary home for him -- and then bring him back to your house when the situation improves. However, if you have no choice but to give him up or are perhaps looking for a home for a dog not your own, we have a few tips on how you might accomplish this. Keep in mind that patience and hard work can lead to a happy ending.
Tip #1 - Find a rescue group that specializes in finding homes for older dogs, like the Senior Dogs Project. These groups understand the special needs of an elderly dog and know what to look for and who to contact when searching for Doggie's forever-home. Keep in mind that groups consider dogs "senior" once they reach the age of 7, so an elderly dog would be one older than that.
Tip #2 - Focus on the positive aspects of adopting an elderly dog: no house-training required, no overly hyper puppy tearing up the house down, no extensive walks or lots of exercise required. Instead, the adopter gets a mellow, sweet old boy or girl who will just be happy with companionship and love. Older people and those who work a lot -- and don't have time for lots of outings -- might be good choices for an elderly dog.
Tip #3 - Post an ad on Pet Finder. The website allows you to list detailed information about your dog, so you can talk about his age, his health and all the reasons why he's a great dog. People are naturally suspicious when somebody gives up an old dog -- maybe you're giving him up because he's very sick or a lot of trouble -- so make sure you explain the circumstances surrounding his need for a new home.
By Tammy Dray
The Senior Dogs Project: Top Ten Reasons to Adopt an Older Dog
The Senior Dogs Project: Questions about Adopting an "Older" Dog
Dogspired: Animal Shelters Working Hard to Find Homes for Older Dogs
Sanctuary for Senior Dogs: The Sanctuary for Senior Dogs
The Senior Dogs Project: Adoption Program
About the Author
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.