Choosing the Right Companion Dog for Your Senior Dog

Mar 15, 2021     |      Sophie's Circle

A dog is sleeping on some old closed books and wearing reading glasses.Getting a senior dog a furry companion can be a good idea for both your dog and your family. The challenge is finding the right timing and temperament to allow everyone to embrace the joys of a growing pack. Use these five tips to help make the transition to a multiple dog family a smooth one for your current dog, your family, and your newest pet addition!

1. Do You Have a Social Dog?
The first question to ask before choosing a companion dog for your senior is if he or she is a dog-friendly kind of pooch. While most dogs appreciate being around other animals, some display protective, anxious, or fearful behavioral patterns. Dogs with this type of reaction pattern may be happier with a one-dog home or a dog companion with a submissive and super calm disposition. Social butterflies will likely enjoy spending some time with a 24x7 friend who is always ready for playtime action or a good nap.

2. Personality Matters!
While we are on the subject of personality, you can keep a comfortable energy level in your home by searching for a dog with behaviors, interests, and an excitement level that compliments your senior. After all, even the most tolerant seniors can get frustrated with a young dog constantly wanting to play. In other words, how a dog looks might be what first draws you to a particular dog, but it’s the personality that will matter more to your senior furry friend.

3. The Best Age Match for Your Dog
This depends largely on your lifestyle and plans for your new dog. Are you looking for a dog who can keep up with your morning run or a low-key friend for your senior dog while you are at work? Senior dogs can show young dogs all their neat tricks that earn lots of praise and treats! Plus, younger dogs can energize your senior and help motivate him or her to get some exercise and eat more kibble.

However, if your senior is easily irritated by active dogs, you may want to consider adopting another senior dog who is in need of a forever home. Older dogs who have been left at shelters after their owners moved or could not afford the medical expenses associated with aging pets can oftentimes make the best companions for your elder dog and their humans! For one thing, they are more likely to have the same energy and activity interest level. Also, they can offer just the right amount of friendship without provoking a lot of doggy drama.

4. How Much Time Do You Have to Spend With Both Dogs?
If you have a busy schedule, your dog may find comfort in having a fellow canine friend. Two dogs can provide entertainment for each other and a shared bond while you are unavailable. On the other hand, it is imperative when bringing a new dog into your home that he or she has time to bond with you and the other household members without arousing too much jealousy from your current dog. This can be tricky with two dogs of any age. For those with a little extra time to devote to properly welcoming and training a new dog, this could be a wonderful time to turn your dynamic duo into a terrific trio!

5. Adoption Timing Based on Your Dog’s Age
Many people tend to think of adopting two younger dogs together so that they each have a playmate as they grow. For senior dogs, however, adopting a companion could be just as much fun! The new furry friend could make him or her feel rejuvenated and show that playful side you may have thought was lost. When it comes time to make those difficult end-of-life decisions, having another dog can provide a large amount of comfort to you, your senior dog, and your other household members. He or she can also keep you motivated to take a couple of walks per day during those initial days of grief following the passing of your furry best friend.

Ready to Adopt a Companion for Your Senior Dog?
If after reading the above tips, you feel ready to pursue adopting a friend for your senior dog, we have some adorable faces you need to meet online. Simply click on our adoption page to get started. We update our listing frequently, and we just know the right fit for your senior is going to be available to bring home soon! Let double the tail-wagging adventures begin!