Elderly dogs are like elderly people: they're set in their ways and they don't like change. This makes finding a new home for one a bit of a challenge. If this is your dog and you're suddenly unable to care for him, talk to your vet or even family members to see if you can set up a temporary home for him -- and then bring him back to your house later. No choice but to give him up -- or maybe you're looking for a home for a dog that isn't yours? Patience and hard work can lead to a happy ending.
Find a rescue group that specializes in finding homes for older dogs, like the Senior Dogs Project. These groups understand the special needs of an elderly dog and know what to look for and who to contact when searching for Doggie's forever-home. Keep in mind that groups consider dogs "senior" once they reach the age of 7, so an elderly dog would be one older than that.
Focus on the positive aspects of adopting an elderly dog: no house-training required, no overly hyper puppy tearing up the house down, no extensive walks or lots of exercise required. Instead, the adopter gets a mellow, sweet old boy or girl who will just be happy with companionship and love. Older people and those who work a lot -- and don't have time for lots of outings -- might be good choices for an elderly dog.
Post an ad on Pet Finder. The website allows you to list detailed information about your dog, so you can talk about his age, his health and all the reasons why he's a great dog. People are naturally suspicious when somebody gives up an old dog -- maybe you're giving him up because he's very sick or a lot of trouble -- so make sure you explain the circumstances surrounding his need for a new home.
- Do your absolute best to keep the dog with you. Elderly dogs can be fragile, and depression or stress connected to moving can lead to many health problems.
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