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7 reasons why adopting an older dog is best for Baby Boomers

7 reasons why adopting an older dog is best for Baby Boomers

Aussies love their pets, with 62 per cent of households contain an animal companion. Dogs are the favourite, with 38 per cent of households owning a dog, and 29 per cent owning a cat. 1

As a senior, inviting a pet into your household can provide love, companionship, and a reason to stay active with daily walks. And an older dog could just be the best option.

Here we look at seven reasons why you should consider adopting an older dog.

1. Older dogs make great companions

Older dogs can make wonderful companions for seniors.2 Your dog can go on walks with you, keep you company as you watch TV, and provide affection.

Unlike energetic puppies who will need extra training, and a lot more attention and exercise, an older dog may be able to settle in more seamlessly with your routine, offering you great companionship.

2. Similar energy levels

An older dog will usually have very different energy levels to a puppy or a younger dog. As a senior, adopting an older dog could make more sense if you don't live a high-energy lifestyle. For example, an older dog could be happy with a relaxed lifestyle, plenty of time on the couch, and a gentle 30-minute walk each day.

It’s important when looking for a senior dog that you keep your lifestyle in mind, and discuss this lifestyle with the shelter or rescue you are choosing your dog from. This way it’s more likely you will get a dog who fits best with your needs.

3. Get the puppy love without the high-maintenance

An old dog might be more mellow than a young puppy, and that could be exactly what you need. They could still have within them a fun-loving, affectionate side, offering you joy and playfulness without the high-maintenance and high-energy requirements of a puppy.

4. The hard work has already been done

An older dog might be more likely to have already been house-trained and taught the basic commands, which will reduce the amount of training time required.

5. A senior dog can encourage you to be more active

With a dog at home, you’ll have a companion who will encourage you to become more active.3 Whether it’s twice-daily walks or weekend strolls at the park, your senior dog can act as a motivator to get you out and enjoying the outdoors. He or she can also provide you with opportunities for social interaction in the process.4

Older dogs tend to be calmer than puppies and they might have less of a need for intensive exercise, so you might not need to spend hours each day trying to wear your furry friend out. For a senior owner, the more laid-back activity level of older dogs could be perfect.3

6. Pets could improve your well-being

Owning a dog has been associated with fewer visits to the doctor, lower stress levels, and increased social support.3 Potential health benefits can also include enhanced cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, lower triglycerides, and in men lower cholesterol5, along with reduced risk of anxiety, depression, and loneliness.6

A pet can also boost well-being by giving you a sense of purpose, decreasing stress, and increasing your sense of belonging and commitment. 7

7. Give a rescue animal a home

The majority of new dog owners prefer puppies to older dogs, and this means older dogs could be more likely to be left behind at the animal shelter. 3 If you’re looking for a new pet, why not take the opportunity to give an older animal a loving home? They could still have many good years ahead of them.

The perfect companion

Adopting an older dog allows you to give a loving home to a dog in need, and it can offer you well-being and health benefits.

Australian Seniors is a leading over-50s insurance specialist. Our range of pet products are designed to protect your animal's needs, covering for up to 80% of your eligible vet bills.* Get a quick quote for pet insurance now.


*Pre-existing conditions are excluded, limits and sub-limits may apply.

References

  1. How many pets are there in AustraliaRSPCA
    http://kb.rspca.org.au/how-many-pets-are-there-in-australia_58.html/
  2. Dog adoptions: elderly pooches find 'forever homes' with retireesABC
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-18/dog-adoptions-elderly-pooches-find-furever-homes-with-retirees/8622086/
  3. Could you adopt a senior dog?Now to Love
    https://www.nowtolove.com.au/lifestyle/pets/could-you-adopt-a-senior-dog-1-42237
  4. Seniors for SeniorsAnimal Aid
    https://www.animalaid.org.au/index.php/pet-adoptions/seniors-for-seniors
  5. What are the health benefits of pet ownershipRSPCA
    http://kb.rspca.org.au/what-are-the-health-benefits-of-pet-ownership_408.html
  6. Can pet ownership have an impact on mental health?HuffPost
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/10/31/can-pet-ownership-have-an-impact-on-mental-health_a_23261332/
  7. How pets can boost mental healthSBS
    https://www.sbs.com.au/topics/life/health/article/2018/01/19/how-pets-can-boost-mental-health