10 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog for the Holidays

Merritt Milam | November 17, 2016

With the holidays approaching quickly around the corner, many families are searching for the perfect gift for their loved ones. More often than not, a puppy seems like the best present for a young child or beloved family member. As much as we adore theses cute, delightful bundles of joy with their floppy bodies and sweet puppy breath – at Wags ‘n Whiskers we are always discovering senior dogs in need of loving homes. People often overlook these dogs at Humane Societies and rescues when they are next to a puppy. More often than not, people do not take into account the benefits of adopting a senior dog. November is national Adopt a Senior Dog Month, and in honor of all of the senior dogs out there in rescues, we listed 10 reasons why pet owners should consider adopting a senior dog as a holiday gift for their loved ones.


More sleep for you

Older dogs sleep through the night and do not need frequent bathroom breaks, unlike a puppy who needs to be let out several times throughout the night.


Depending on the breed, older dogs tend to be calmer and more relaxed.

Vet trips

Vet trips are easier with a senior dog. Pet owners do not have to worry about the series of shots or a spay/neuter surgery that come with purchasing a new puppy.

No guessing game

When you adopt a senior dog, there is no guessing associated with the dog’s possible size or temperament since an adult dog already has grown into these characteristics. Shelters cannot guarantee the past of all dogs, but you might be able to find someone who knows what they’ve been through or if they have specific needs.


Older dogs settle easier into a new home and know what it takes to get along with everyone, including children and other pets. They are more likely to be housebroken, so pet owners do not have to worry about potty-training, which can be a daunting task! There is also no teething with older dogs, so your nice wooden furniture is not at risk for bite marks.


A lot of older dogs are already obedience trained, at least to some extent. If they are not, an adult dog has a longer attention span and, thus, is typically easier to train.


A senior dog’s adoption fee is usually less than the adoption fee of a puppy. Additionally, since you know the size of the dog you’re adopting, you do not have to waste money on collars and accessories that your new puppy would outgrow. Spend that extra money on toys, or better yet, on a monthly Barkbox, a treat our team at Wags ‘n Whiskers cannot get enough of!

Pick your breed

Whether you are interested in a mutt or purebred, there are several rescue organizations in Birmingham. Some are specifically geared toward rescuing breed-specific dogs, and several have an assortment of breeds. Have you always dreamed of adopting a Golden Retriever? Visit Adopt a Golden Birmingham to find your next golden boy! Do you love long floppy ears and short legs? Basset Hound Rescue of Alabama is the place for you! Our own Wags ‘n Whiskers Rescue takes in all types of dogs, from mutts to purebreds, and we would love to show you some of our older dogs in need of a loving home.

Disrupt over-population

There are simply not enough homes for the amount of dogs born in a year. Hundreds of thousands of dogs, especially senior dogs, are euthanized each year because they cannot find a home. When you adopt, especially when you adopt a senior dog, it disrupts the cycle of over-population.

Reward yourself

Adopting a senior dog is such a reward for yourself. Puppies are almost always going to get picked first. There is nothing like taking home a dog who might not have made it without you!

If you adopt a senior dog in November, take a picture with your new best friend and use the hashtag #AdoptASeniorPetMonth to help spread awareness about saving lives! For more information about dogs and cats Wags ‘n Whiskers Rescue has available for adoption, please call 205-902-9247 today!