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Adopting A Senior Dog

November 1, 2023

November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month! If you’re considering bringing a new pup into your family, you may want to consider getting an older canine. A local Roanoke, VA vet goes over some of the ins and outs of adopting a senior pooch below.


Older dogs have some wonderful benefits that make them really great pets. They’re usually very sweet and calm, and are more interested in cuddles and naps than in digging up your flowerbeds or chasing the neighbor’s cat around. Fido will already have been trained, and he won’t surprise you by growing to three times the size you expected. Plus, older dogs are extremely cute. Those soulful eyes can definitely melt hearts!


Petproofing is important when adopting any dog, but it will look slightly different when you’re adopting a senior. You’ll still need to be careful to keep things like toxic plants and small or sharp objects away from Fido. However, older dogs are generally past their chew-everything-in-sight stages. The focus here is really on comfort. Set out carpet runners to provide traction, and invest in a few good orthopedic beds. Use gates or grates before potential hazards like fireplaces or pools.

Coming Home

Going to a new home is a huge deal for Fido. It may take your canine friend some time to settle in and really feel safe. Plus, many older dogs are struggling with trauma or depression after being separated from or, sadly, abandoned by their former owner. Give him the time he needs. Treats will go a long way towards bonding and building trust. Use small ones, so you don’t overfeed your pet.

Veterinary Care

Most likely, Fido will already have been fixed. (This is another perk of getting an older dog.) Shelters also typically perform basic evaluations. However, your canine pal will definitely benefit from a full nose-to-tail exam, as well as any recommended screenings and panels. Schedule a veterinary appointment right away.


Doggy DNA tests are proving to be very helpful, especially for people who are adopting mutts. Most senior dogs that are up for adoption are mixed breeds. It’s worth your while to find out exactly what your pup is. This can be very helpful for your pet’s care needs, as you’ll be able to find out if he is at elevated risk of any specific conditions. Ask your vet for more information.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your local Roanoke, VA animal clinic, today!

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