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Adopting a senior dog

When you adopt a senior dog (over seven years old), you not only reduce the number of homeless dogs in Calgary, but you also provide a loving dog with a second chance to find a forever home. A senior dog might be a better fit for your family because they are usually house trained, comfortable around children, and less hyper than younger dogs. 

To see the dogs currently at our shelter go to adoptable dogs or impounded dogs. If you are interested in meeting a dog please call 3-1-1 (from within Calgary) or 403-268-CITY (2489) (outside of Calgary) to book a time to visit with that animal.

At what age is a dog considered "senior"?

A large breed dog is considered mature between the ages of five and seven and "senior" over the age of seven. A small breed is considered "mature" between the ages of nine and ten and "senior at twelve years.

What are the benefits of adopting a senior dog?

  • Senior dogs are wonderful companions.
  • They love attention and affection.
  • The senior dog is probably house trained and likely has already received obedience training.
  • There will be no surprises about the senior dog's size or personality.
  • You can feel good about giving a senior dog a retirement home.
  • Many senior dogs love to play and run.
  • Don't underestimate a senior dog:​​​​​​​​ he probably still has a lot of energy.

What are the challenges of adopting a senior dog?

  • Some breeds have shorter life spans and age more quickly.
  • Certain health issues can emerge as dogs age: blindness, hearing problems, arthritis and other joint or bone problems, and dental problems.
  • If you want a dog to go running with you every day, a senior dog is probably not the best choice.
  • You may have to retrain your senior dog to unlearn undesirable behaviours.

Who should adopt a senior dog?

Anyone who:

  • Simply wants a companion dog.
  • Is looking for a great first dog.
  • Is ready to give and receive lots of love and devotion.
  • Doesn't feel they are ready for the challenges of raising a puppy.
  • Has a schedule that would not accommodate a puppy.
  • Is willing to give the care required for a senior dog.