PUPPY BOWL February 5, 2017

Adopting and Fostering Senior Dogs

Posted by Mary Beth McAndrews

While Striker is an adorable puppy, his owner also has a few senior dogs in her house. For many, puppies are so cute and irresistible. However, senior dogs are another great option when looking for your next four-legged friend.

You may wonder what the benefits are when adopting a senior dog. First, older dogs are at higher risk for euthanasia because they are the least likely to be adopted. It is a sad fact, but adopting a senior dog could be saving a life.

Senior dogs also require less training than a puppy. Their personalities are already established and they don't require the constant attention or tending to of a younger dog. Plus, they won't teeth like a puppy. They're also much more laidback, wanting cuddles and naps more than anything.

While some potential adopters may think an older dog won't bond with a new owner, that myth isn't true. According to the ASPCA, "Age is not a determining factor in an animal’s affection toward humans or its ability to bond with them."


Older dogs are commonly given away by aging owners or owners that want a more energetic dog. They have so much love to give, and while they may seem nervous in the shelter, their true personalities can shine through with a new, loving home.

Another way to help senior dogs is through a foster program. The ASPCA's Foster program "gives animals who are not yet ready for adoption a chance to live and be loved in foster homes." With these programs, you can give an older dog the love and affection they deserve. You can also help socialize them with people and other animals while giving them a quieter environment than a shelter. Who knows? You may even end up adopting your foster dog.

For Striker's foster mom, Tracy McMenamy, fostering pets is so rewarding. "The best thing for me and my family about being a foster parent is saving the life of a pet," said McMenamy. "We enjoy the thought of, you know, rescuing this dog, teaching this dog manners, teaching this dog how to be the best pet they can be, and then watching them thrive in their new homes."

To learn more about how to foster, go to your local rescue and see what the requirements are. Make sure to have vaccination records available for all of your pets if you have any. Also be prepared to provide references that show you'd be a great owner and foster parent.

It's not just shelters who want you to consider a senior dog adoption. Companies like Subaru are committed to keeping all animals safe and healthy, no matter their age. Subaru has even partnered with the ASPCA to help thousands of animals of all ages find their forever homes. So, next time you visit your local shelter, please consider adopting or fostering a senior dog.

Learn more about Subaru's efforts to support pets around the country on their website.