It's only natural that everyone loves puppies. They're cute, cuddly, lots of fun and particularly popular with young children. They are usually the default choice when people are looking for a new, four-legged, furry family member.
However, don't dismiss older dogs, as they can be the perfect companion for someone new to pet-owning, who's unfamiliar with training a young puppy, or for a dog-lover who wants a quieter life.
If you relish the thought of forming a special bond with an older dog, who's happy to sit by your side, without playing and running around all the time, it's well worth looking on the websites of the many dog rescue charities to see if there's a senior canine seeking a loving new home.
Save a senior dog's life
When you adopt an older dog from a rescue, you're saving their life and giving them a second chance. Senior dogs - especially large ones - are traditionally difficult to rehome and are often overlooked in rescue centres. Yet an older adopted dog can fit perfectly into your lifestyle, bringing plenty of pleasure and no disruption.
Most older dogs are already fully house-trained, so if you don't feel like training a puppy and spending hours trying to coax them to go outdoors, a senior dog can come into your life without any of the stress.
Forming a loving bond
You're also likely to find an older dog will bond with you right away. They will be so happy to be in a loving, comfy home - sitting alongside the wonderful person who saved them from the shelter - that they will love you unconditionally from the outset.
Senior dogs tend to be extremely loving and will be quite happy to sit in any room you're in, without doing anything much. If you don't have the energy or time to take a puppy or young dog for constant walks, a senior dog who enjoys shorter walks and lots of cuddles at home can be the ideal companion.
Easier to train
You may also find an older dog is already trained, at least in the basics, such as sitting and staying. They are likely to be more receptive to additional training, as they know the ropes and will remember what to do. They are also likely to be leash-trained as well.
When you leave the rescue centre with an older dog, you will probably feel like you'll burst with pride at having changed his or her life. Before automatically choosing a puppy, do yourself a favour and consider the joys of adopting a senior dog, who will enrich both your lives with loyalty, warmth and happiness.