A Home for Every Dog

Millions of dogs in need of homes are just waiting to become a faithful member of your family.

These pooches come not only in all shapes and sizes but also in all seasons of life. From tiny pups to wise old timers, you can build a good relationship with your new hound no matter how many candles they’ve got on their birthday dinner.

Introducing an Old Soul

Old dogs are the diplomats of the canine world. These tail wagers have some life experience under their collars.

If you fall for an old timer, you’ll likely enjoy a few awesome benefits. First off, these guys tend to be mellower than their puppy counterparts and have generally had more training. The elderly dog could make a great companion for a human who prefers to take things slow, because Fido’s energy tends to be lower as he ages.

Making a gradual transition into the daily routine of your home will benefit your senior dog. He might become stressed and fearful if expected to participate immediately and socialize widely. Set aside a couple of weeks to establish the bond and earn his trust.

Know that activities like long hikes and Frisbee chases might be out. But there are plenty of ways to keep your old dog fit and thriving.

Some issues, like housebreaking, might become trickier with age. Your new pet may need to be let out a lot more frequently or take more time to do his business. Be compassionate, and provide a safe, accessible place for the activity.

Remember too that your pooch has been answering to a given name for a lot of year. Best to keep that name rather than forcing him to take on a new identity late in life.

Loving a Middle Aged Mutt

A dog who has entered adulthood but isn’t a senior yet is a great addition to an active family. One advantage of welcoming a full-grown dog is just that: she’s full grown. No speculating about the size she’ll reach or wondering how much food she’ll eat in adulthood.

Adult dogs may still be quite active, which means that once she’s gotten her new routine figured out, she might like to join you for adventures.

If she’s had excellent training and boasts a friendly temperament, she might fit right in without much adjustment. But be prepared to deal with a bit of a stubborn period, because these canines have already grown enough to form habits. Set clear boundaries, perhaps restricting Rover to particular areas of the house during introduction and establishing a solid routine for walks, feeding, potty breaks, and other events.

Settling in with a Perky Pup

Ah, puppies. There’s nothing cuter or more mischievous. With a young ‘un, you’ll really get to experience the hound-human bond from your dog’s earliest years. You’ll participate in his growth and development. Yours will be his forever home, and you’ll be his pack leader right off the bat.

Make sure you have a LOT of time for your puppy. Regular potty breaks are a must—and potty training, too. Plenty of mental and physical stimulation should help with issues like chewing and digging.

If you’re out of the house most of the day, consider engaging the services of a qualified pet sitter to check in with your dog.

Obedience classes may also be a good idea.

Every Dog Deserves a Home

Overall, one thing is true. While dogs at all stages require a lot of care and patience, the payoff outweighs the struggles.

Dogs can become cherished family members at any age.

Meet the Author: Holly Zynda

7 Very Expensive Dog Breeds
Pet Safety Tips for the Winter Holidays