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


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