In Singapore, you are not considered a senior citizen until you are 60. Dogs are considered senior dogs at the tender age of 7, though this is a broad classification as small dogs mature slower. Even so, many dog owners will tell you that dogs remain puppies at heart a long time after they earn their senior citizenship. Yet, these "senior" dogs tend to get overlooked by potential adopters for the cute puppies.
|Trixie, estimated to be about 10 years old was recently diagnosed with mammary gland cancer and is in need of a foster home|
Senior dogs need homes too. Just because they have survived longer on the streets or in the shelters does not mean that they are "used to it" and can hold out longer for a forever home. In fact, they do not have the luxury of time on their side. While the image of a senior dog is one that is generally ailing, senior dogs can be as healthy and active as a younger dog with proper care. However, shelters, with their kennels full, are hardly the place to provide such care and by the time some lucky senior dogs are adopted, they come with senior ailments which may make adopting them more expensive if you consider the medications and treatments they require. That is why it is crucial to adopt out senior dogs while they are still in their prime.
|Brandy, female local crossbreed, estimated to be about 7 years old. Sweet, calm and well-behaved.|
|Matthieu, our favourite old man, a local crossbreed, estimated to be about 14 + years old. Other than his weak hind legs, he is in perfect health.|
Many people are drawn to the boundless energy and carefree attitude of puppies. What they don't realise is that this energy can quickly turn destructive if time and effort are not invested into puppy training. On the contrary, senior dogs tend to be mellower and more calm so they need less effort to train up. This does not mean that a senior dog is less fun, because dogs do not lose their love for play and fun (unlike some humans) no matter their age! Also, the old adage about not being able to teach an old dog new tricks is not true. You can teach an old dog new tricks. In fact, they may be easier to train than puppies as they have longer attention spans and are less easily distracted.
|Charlie, male Golden Retriever, estimated to be about 12+ years old.|
|Trixie and Brandy, chilling together.|
Some people feel that they can only bond with a dog whom they have raised from puppyhood. Those who have adopted a senior dog, and many of us at HOPE, can tell you just how wrong that perception is. Here at HOPE, we have rescued many senior dogs. It did not take long for the caretakers of these dogs to fall in love with them, nor for the dogs to reciprocate this love. Trixie and Brandy are but 2 of HOPE's senior citizens. Calm and collected, yet still knowing how to enjoy the simple things in life like home-cooked food and snuggling with their humans on the couch, they are the role models for all seniors, humans and dogs alike!
If you are looking for a companion who will calmly listen to your workday woes and not run you ragged after a long day at work or school, why not consider a senior dog?
To find out more about Trixie, Brandy or our other senior citizens, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by: Sam