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The benefits of adopting an older or special needs dog

Adopting an older or special needs dog will help them and you.
Adopting an older or special needs dog will help them and you.

You hear it all the time; dogs enter in shelter situations or are rescued by good folks in private animal rescues. The younger the dog is, the better off they are because the animals left behind yet again are older dogs or dogs with special needs.

This morning on NBC5 Chicago news, a sweet story aired about a couple that was originally strictly cat parents. By some twist of fate they happened upon a rescued Bulldog mix and instantly fell in love.

At first they were unwilling to adopt, but decided to go ahead and fulfill this dog’s bucket list because they just could not let him go. You see, the dog has terminal cancer. This struck a chord with the couple that just could not face the fact that he may just wither away and die without ever knowing what it was like to be loved. So they intervened.

The dog has had several surgeries for his skin cancer but to no avail. The cancer has now spread to his lungs, but the couple has not given up on him. In fact they are completely in head-over-heels making this dog’s time left, no matter how much that is, the best time that it can possibly be.

They are constantly taking the dog places and doing things with him. Witnessing the smile on his doggy face is enough for them to know that money is just money, but true happiness and love are worth it all. They feel that they have gotten even more back from the dog than their money has to buy!

So, besides the constant love and affection that dogs seem to have an abundance of, what other benefits could there possibly be to adopt an older or special needs dog? Ellie Smith (Dog Groomer and Writer about pet care, pet nutrition, food and pet supplies) sent in a guest article to Pet News and Views online and recommended these five specific benefits:

  1. Older dogs are wiser and calmer. They will more than likely slot into your environment and bond with you on a mature level, unlike young puppies that can cause mischief and become slightly out of control if restless. An older dog knows how to sit still whereas a puppy simply chooses to do what it wants, when it wants.
  2. Senior pets tend to appreciate the love and care of their owner and the fact that they have been given a second chance of happiness. Older pets in a shelter may suffer from depression. This is your chance to give them joy, and to get that joy back tenfold.
  3. Although older dogs may have health problems they do not generally require as much attention and care from you as they start to wind down in their old age. A shorter walk in the woods becomes more preferred than a two hour jog around the fields.
  4. Older dogs are often trained to follow commands and are usually toilet trained.
  5. Older dogs are easy to assess for behavior and temperament.

Although Ellie’s article was specific to older dogs, the same is true of many special needs dogs. They are also calmer, knowing somehow if they act out that their chances of being adopted are slim to none.

The dogs truly appreciate any human attention or interaction. Some of the dogs are in utter pain and just want to know what it is like to be loved before they pass over the Rainbow Bridge. Any rapt attention is great attention and they will pay you back a thousand fold for simply giving them the opportunity to be in a loving home environment. The kisses alone will be enough to show you how much they appreciate you giving them a chance at love in their life.

So, just like this Chicago couple, take a look around. Yes, it may be difficult knowing that your dog won’t be with you as long as a puppy could potentially be, but when you weigh the benefits, you will most likely derive that you will be the winner!

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