Adopting a Senior Dog: How to Find Your New Best Friend

Older dogs are too often overlooked by potential adopters at shelters and rescues. However, those who adopt senior dogs find them to be wonderful companions–more mellow, better mannered, and quicker to adjust to their new homes than younger dogs. They can be so loving and easy-going that you may feel as though you and your adopted senior dog have been together forever.

Whether you have been considering adopting an older dog for a long time or were just recently inspired by the story of one in need, your new grey-muzzled best friend may be a hop, skip, and a few clicks away.

Note: This is a partial repost from the Grey Muzzle Organization.


Nine-year-old Olivia is available for adoption from the Young at Heart Senior Pet Rescue.

Olivia loves walks, snuggling, and lying in the sun. Find out more about adopting Olivia from the Young at Heart Senior Pet Rescue near Chicago, Illinois.

How to Find Adoptable Senior Dogs

Senior dogs can be adopted from municipal and county shelters, humane societies, SPCAs, rescues, and sanctuaries, all of which commonly list their available dogs on pet adoption websites. These websites allow you to search by age group and location, in addition to size, breed, gender, and more. They usually include a description and photo of each dog. (Most shelters and rescue organizations list dogs over 7 years of age as “senior.”) You can search for pets anywhere in the United States and Canada, with those nearest to you appearing first.

Adopt-a-Pet describes itself as “North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption website,” while Petfinder claims to host listings from more 12,000 adoption groups from the U.S. and Canada. Adoptable pets can also be found with searches through All Paws, Petango, and the ASPCA’s shelter database. UK residents can try Pet Adoption UK or visit the Oldies Club website.

Note: I initially found Divinity though Petfinder who linked to Divinity’s profile on the Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network website.

If you don’t find your perfect companion with your first online search, don’t be discouraged. Listings change daily and you can also use your online searches to find the names of local organizations that tend to have older dogs available for adoption. Shelters and rescue organizations (especially smaller rescues that depend on volunteers) can’t always update their external listings regularly, so try visiting their websites or following them on Facebook. You will likely learn about wonderful local organizations you never knew were there!

You might even discover that you live near a senior dog rescue or sanctuary. The Grey Muzzle Organization provides grants to programs helping homeless and at-risk senior dogs nationwide, including many senior rescues and sanctuaries. You can find those programs–a majority of which have senior dogs to adopt and/or foster–listed by state under Who We Help.

To read the rest of this wonderful article on adopting a senior dog, click the following link

Frozen Berry Treat Recipe

During the sweltering days of summer, give your dog a treat that’s totally cool.

It’s too hot to cook. But your pooch is panting for a cool treat. What’s a pet parent to do? For easy and healthy treats you can pull together in a matter of minutes, try our Frozen Berry Treat recipe. Just mix, pour and freeze—it doesn’t get much easier than that. And you can substitute your dog’s favorite summer fruit into the mix—try it with strawberries or watermelon, as long as the fruit is safe for your pooch. And the added benefit of Pro Bloom offers a boost of live culture probiotics and digestive enzymes.

Frozen Berry Treats

This recipe is from The Honest Kitchen.

  • 1-cup assorted berries frozen or fresh
  • 1-cup yogurt plain
  • 1-tablespoon Honey (optional)
  • 1-tablespoon The Honest Kitchen Pro Bloom
  1. Add assorted berries, yogurt, Pro Bloom and honey to blender. Puree until smooth.
  2. Pour in ice cube trays and cover with plastic wrap or bags to avoid spills.
  3. Leave overnight to freeze.
  4. Take trays out of freezer, let sit out for 2 minutes and remove from tray to serve.
Recipe Notes

This recipe uses The Honest Kitchen ProBloom Dehydrated Goats Milk. If you want to make fun frozen shapes for your pooch, you can buy cool silicone molds in a variety of styles. They work just as well as ice cube trays and it’s easier to pop the frozen treats out of the mold.

Preparing Your Home for a Senior Dog

While any month is a good one to give a home to an older dog in need, November is ASPCA’s Adopt a Senior Dog Month, making it even better time to open your heart to a senior. Senior dogs are great for so many reasons, it’s hard to list them all!

This is a repost from, and this information is valuable no matter what month someone adopts a senior dog.

Here are few reasons adopting a senior dog may be right for you:

* Don’t have time to train a puppy, since most of them come with basic manners
* Do not have the energy for a young, active dog
* Want to a certain personality type (likes kids, cats, etc.)
* Want to help an old dog enjoy the rest of his life

If any of these are you, than there is a special senior citizen just waiting for you take them home! But, before you do, you need to prepare.

Like bringing home a puppy, senior dogs have special needs that you should prepare for prior to adoption.


Rugs with no-slip mats are a great way to help an older dog get around your house.

Most senior dogs have some type of mobility issue. If you have hard floors anywhere in your house, they may have trouble getting around. This means you are going to have to do something to help them out and you have several options.

* You can put booties on your dog that have traction on the bottom. Make sure they are made for traction and have rubberized feet, otherwise they make it harder for the dog to walk. (Pawz is a good brand).

* You can put rugs down. Just be sure to secure the rugs with a no-slip pad underneath, like this one from Walmart.

* Block off those areas. If the only places in your house that have hard floors are the bathrooms and the kitchen, you may be okay with just restricting your senior dog’s access to these areas. Remember, this is for their safety so they don’t fall and hurt themselves.

* Lay carpet down. Of course, you can always install full carpet if you wish.


Stairs can pose a real risk to older dogs. They can fall trying to go up or down them. It is best to block them off with a baby gate or keep doors shut so they cannot go up and down them without your help.

If you need your dog to be able to go up and down stairs without you, you may think about installing a ramp. We made a ramp on our outside steps by simply nailing down a piece of plywood covered with a rubber mat (glued on). It was originally for a wheelchair, but it helps my aging dog as well.

High Places

Are you going to allow your dog on the bed, couch, or love seat? If so, you should have a way for them to comfortably get up. Pet stairs and ramps are a great way to allow your dog access to these areas safely.

Do not assume, however, that if you buy them and put them up, your dog will automatically use them. You may have to teach your dog to do so by luring them with a treat up and down the stairs or ramp. Also, be sure to buy ones that are the correct size for your dog. I have seen a lot of stairs that are made for small dogs only, and if a large dog tries to go down them, their backs end up at bad angles or they fall because they are too steep.

If you are adopting a large senior dog, you may want a car ramp as well, so you can get him into the car without having to try and physically lift him.

Lifestyle Products

Aside from the above listed safety items and the normal items you get for any dog you are adopting (food, kennel, etc), you also want to think about your dog’s day to day activities. Here are a few products that you may not need to buy if you’re adopting a younger dog, but that will be beneficial for your senior pet.

* Raised feeders – these are much easier on your dog’s back (these are really good for any age dog, but especially a senior).

* Heated bed – great for alleviating joint pain.

* Diapers or potty pads – some senior dogs have trouble with bladder control. The rescue you are adopting your dog from should be able to tell you if you will need these.

* Pet Piller/Pill pockets – almost all old dogs take some type of medication, these will make it easier to administer them.

* Medical Alert Tag – Pet Health Alert makes tags for dogs with special needs in case they get lost or hurt.

* Above all, a senior dog needs your love and attention the most.

About the Author

Based in Wilsonville, Ore., animal lover Kristina N. Lotz is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and works as a full time trainer. She is the founder of A Fairytail House, a unique all-positive all-sport dog training facility that helps rescue dogs in her area and provides free seminars and training classes for the community. In her spare time, she trains and competes in herding, agility, obedience, rally, and conformation with her Shetland Sheepdogs. She smartly married a Veterinary Technician, who helps keep the fur kids happy and healthy, and provides a quick resource for articles.

Favorite Posts from our Fifth Year Together

It has now been ten months since my little lady was euthanized. This month I celebrate Divinity’s love of life, with some of my favorite photographs & movies taken during our fifth year together.

A new pair of shoes

To read about Divinity’s new shoes, click HERE

New Shoes

Divinity’s Farm

To read about Divinity’s Farm, click HERE

Divinity's Farm

Divinity’s blog – Finalist for a Petties Award

To read about Divinity’s blog becoming a Finalist for a Petties Award, click HERE

Petties Award

A weekend drive in the country

To read about Divinity’s weekend drive in the country, click HERE

A weekend drive in the country

Divinity in the morning mist

To read about Divinity in the Morning Mist, click HERE

Divinity in the Morning Mist

Can you spot Miss Divinity?

To read about spotting Divinity, click HERE

Find Divinity

 Watch the movie and see if you can spot Divinity
Two Friends

To read about Divinity & Ghost, click HERE

Miss Divinity & her friend Ghost

A new winter outfit

To read about Divinity’s new winter outfit, click HERE

New Winter Suit

Winter Bonnet

To read about Divinity Winter Bonnet, click HERE

Winter Bonnet

Happy Birthday, Divinity!

To read about Divinity’s 14th Birthday, click HERE

Happy 14th Birthday!

Snowplow Supervisor

To read about Divinity becoming a Snowplow Supervisor, click HERE

Snow Plow Supervisor

Watch Divinity supervising dad’s work


Miss Divinity’s “Fashion Collection”

To read about Divinity’s Fashion Collection, click HERE

Raincoat from Foggy Mountain Dog Coats

The Fifth Annual – Mid-Winter, Indoor Camping Trip

To read about Divinity’s Fifth Annual – Mid-Winter, Indoor Camping Trip, click HERE

The 5th Mid-Winter Indoor Camping Trip

 Senior Citizen Discounts?

To read about Divinity campaigning for Discounts for Senior Pets, click HERE

Senior Discounts for Dogs

The walk in the park for Spring

To read about Divinity taking a walk in the park in early Spring, click HERE

Spring Walk in the Park

 Watch Divinity’s walk in the park in early Spring


Down by the Lake

To read about Divinity’s trip to a nice lake, click HERE

Down by the Lake

Watch Divinity by the lake

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