Dogs Trust is urging dog lovers to forego the pitter patter of puppy paws and consider giving Older Age Pooches their perfect retirement home.
It comes after the charity found that almost half of people looking to adopt were searching for a four-legged friend under the age of six months.
In contrast to this demand for younger dogs, in the nine months up to the end of March this year, just 5% of prospective owners were looking for a dog aged 8 or over.
Google searches for ‘buying a puppy’ increased by a huge 213% after lockdown began in March last year compared to the previous twelve months. Now Dogs Trust is asking people to remember that when it comes to giving a rescue dog a second chance, older dogs need new homes too – and have lots to offer.
One older dog that has found his ideal retirement home is 13-year old Paddy, who was adopted from Dogs Trust Manchester by 101-year old Marjorie Rigby shortly before lockdown began. Now, Marjorie and her daughter, Angel say they don’t know what they’d have done without him as Marjorie hasn’t been able to leave their home since the start of the pandemic.
Angela who lives in Tameside with Marjorie, says: “Adopting Paddy is the best thing we have ever don. Of course, when we adopted him we didn’t know what we were going to be facing, but I don’t know how we’d have got through lockdown without him. He has been absolutely wonderful company, such a comfort.
“I would encourage anyone thinking of adopting a dog to consider an older dog. Paddy makes us so happy and seeing him happy is fantastic.”
Currently of the more than 300 dogs at Dogs Trust who are ready to head off to their forever homes, 22% are aged eight or over. Some of those dogs hoping to find their special someone include:
12-year-old Collie Cross Cassie who was first rehomed by Dogs Trust when she was a puppy, but sadly more than eleven years later she has found herself in need of a new home after her owners passed away. Cassie is described by the Dogs Trust team as a beautiful, sweet, spritely girl who still loves to chase a tennis ball.
Shar Peis Mack and Ted are ten-year-old brothers who are devoted to each other having lived together all their lives. They are living with a Dogs Trust foster care currently and have proved themselves to be the perfect houseguests. They love to head out on a walk and then have a snooze on a comfy bed. As long as they are together they are happy and they would fit in well with a family with older teenagers.
17-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier Lola was handed over to Dogs Trust after a change in her family’s circumstances meant they could no longer keep her. They say she is a very sweet girl who loves watching the world go by from a comfy sofa. She really enjoys pottering around the garden too in her foster carer’s home. She is partially deaf but would fit well into a family with older teenagers.
Adam Clowes, Operations Director at Dogs Trust says: “In the last year, so many people have wanted to welcome a puppy into their family, but older dogs make fantastic companions too. Older dogs are often calmer and less energetic so although they may still be playful and enjoy a stroll in the park, hiking up hills may be a thing of the past for them, which suits some owners, young and not so young.
“Also with an older dog, what you see is what you get both in terms of personality and size. And although you can certainly teach an older dog new tricks, they usually know the training basics and have experienced many things in their lives, so they are more likely to take things in their stride. Helping and older dog enjoy their autumnal years and giving them the chance to live their best life is incredibly rewarding. Owners always tell is that the feeling you get from seeing them safe, warm, happy and enjoying an afternoon snooze snuggled up on the sofa, is something that can’t be beaten.”
To find out more about caring for an older dog, visit dogstrust.org.uk/help-advice/getting-or-buying-a-dog/rehoming-and-looking-after-an-older-dog