Too old to adopt a puppy?

goldyJune 14, 2011

Is 81 too old t0 get a puppy?

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well, that all depends. if it's a "young" 81, i don't see why not. if the 81 year old has enough energy and time and dedication to raise a puppy, sure. if not, maybe a nice adult rescue could be just the ticket.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 10:02AM
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Puppies are a lot of work!!! There are so many very nice mellow adult dogs in shelters and I think an adult dog, a small or medium one would be much preferable.

That's my 2 cents!


    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 10:56AM
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Sheesh ... I'm 52 and think I'm too old for a puppy! LOL!

But everyone is different. So if the 81 yr old can handle taking on a puppy, they should go for it.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 12:22PM
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If you are really bent on a pup, maybe you could consider fostering for a rescue agency to see how one fits into your life before making a more permanent decision. My Mama took on a very young dog at seventy seven and had her fourteen years and it was a blessing to them both. Mama passed away at age 91, and her beloved doggie was old by then and followed just months later.

Not to be a downer, but think of the pup's possible longevity. If it exeeds how long you think you'll be able to care for it.......make darned sure that you have a friend or family member who would be willing (and want) to take over the care of a possibly older or infirm animal. If you don't.......please rethink puppies and consider a mature animal. You do not want a beloved companion animal to be at the mercy of a shelter or worse.

I am all for companion animals for seniors! It's a wonderful and healthy bond for both and seniors can often give a dog the time and attention a younger, but working family can't. But even in my early sixties my choice of a new dog was tempered with the reality my DH who has some mobility problems, but is otherwise healthy, might have with a large animal. I researched breeds and made visits to the local shelter until I found one who met all the criteria.

Good Luck......and good wishes.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 5:13PM
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Depends on the person adopting and depends on the puppy being adopted...I know 81 year olds that raft down the Colorado river and I know puppies that can shake up the best of run households. I also know 81 year olds that are practically bed ridden and puppies who are sack hounds and have to be encouraged to chew anything.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 5:36PM
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got some good response.Have some time to think about it.the only thing that bothers me that who will take care of it if I have to suddenly have to go to the hospital.maybe I should settle on a bird.Sometimes I get so much time on my hands and want to do something.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 7:06PM
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A puppy is more work than fun.

For anyone, it's important to make plans for your animals should you have to leave them.

There are wonderful, already trained adult dogs at your shelter that also have too much time on their hands! You should definitely hook up with one! Just be sure you can take it out for walks 4x a day.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 7:57PM
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Consider becoming a foster parent to either dogs or cats. Doing so will let you have a pet yet you'll be able to call them for help if an emergency occurs. I think it would be a win-win for you and an animal that needs to rescued.

Check out all the rescues in your area since each one varies as to who pays for food and medical expenses for the animal.
Our local County shelter uses fosters, especially for animals that need a quiet place to recover from injuries or for those that are pregnant. Only problem is the foster has to be willing to cover some of the expenses. Other organizations cover all expenses so be sure to ask.
The really good groups will try to pair you with an animal that fits your lifestyle.

One other thing........if you decide you don't want to foster, consider volunteering to help your favorite rescue.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 8:05PM
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Goldy - Honestly, I would not want to take care of a dog if my mother (now 75) adopted one and something happened to her. I'm her designated care-giver when the time comes, I know I'll have my hands full. My Grandmother had a cat and that was easy (food/water/litter change). She ended up getting dementia (my gram, not the cat) and required daily visits. Had there been a dog in the picture needing to go out repeatedly, well that just wouldn't have worked. You might want to discuss this with your family first, before making a final decision.

You mentioned a bird, do you have an aversion to cats? I own Bengal cats - they are a hybrid of the Asian Leopard cat and domestic cross. They are VERY puppy like yet much easier to care for than a dog. If you are looking for a pet to interact with, I would recommend this breed. They are trainable - just like a dog. You can teach them commands (sit, paw, whatever you can think of) and some even love playing fetch with you comfortably from your couch. Mine will jump through a hoop if there is a promise of a treat! They are easily harnessed trained so you can take them for walks when the weather is good - they love it!!! Some can be very aloof yet others will want to be by your side all the time. They are curious and have a high energy. They are great companions and very, very, very entertaining.

I will plug the Bengal Rescue Network here for anyone considering the breed. It's volunteer run, so it goes without saying there is always a need for fosters and adopters. Ironically, they just did a shout-out for help in your state as an emergency arose. The fosters work hard and really get to know the personality of the cat. They will place one with you that meets your needs. I'll place the link in for you, just in case. There's a pic on their page so you can see what they look like. It's a very attractive cat (it's the spotted cat).

I'm sure there are some other breeds (Siamese, Maine Coon come to mind) that pet owners can comment on first hand if you like cats.

Whatever species you decide on, I think it's a wonderful you are considering adopting a pet!

Here is a link that might be useful: Bengal Rescue Network

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 10:58PM
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I think you've gotten some very wise advice on maybe fostering first. I'm 58 and we just recently adopted a puppy from a rescue center. It is rewarding, but a lot of work. It's also expensive in the early stages with all the vaccinations, and they can't all be done all at once, meaning numerous trips to the vet. Another thing, not knowing your health and strength, if you are not steady on your feet, an active puppy can very easily cause a stumble and fall in an older person who has mobility problems. I've personally known quite a few older people who have lost their balance over an animal or their toys and broken a hip, and you know how devastating that can be.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 6:36AM
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Any cat is a good cat.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 7:15AM
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Cats would be a perfect pet for you but I wouldn't get a puppy. If you want a dog I'd get one at least a year or two who is mellow and small.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 12:10PM
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We have a magazine here that is distributed free at different shopping areas. I read often about cats that have been in no kill shelters for several years because they are older, are blind in one eye or maybe have a limp from a juvenile disease. I think an older cat that has proven to be a sweety but just looked over is the perfect pal for you (or maybe 2). There are millions of middle aged cats needing homes. Cats are so much easier for Neighbors or Family to take care of if you have a short term absence and I am sure you can make arrangements to have the cat returned to the shelter or foster home if you cross the bridge before the cat does! Blessing! Hope you find the PUURFECT buddies!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 9:06PM
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I just looked at my magazine, here is a website that tells you about a program here for Seniors. They will take the cat back at any time and will even provide temporary care if you will be away from your home for an extended period of time. I am sure there is something like this near you! Blessings.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 9:17PM
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I don't think I would want to take on a puppy at 81. They are a lot of work :). They're energetic so they need lots of exercise and play so they don't get bored, they have a short attention span so training can be challenging at times and they go through that whole chewing phase where you have to watch them like a hawk. I couldn't wait for my pup to grow out of puppyhood, it was such a full on time with her. Ritaweed also brings up a good point about tripping and falling, my pup used to get right up behind me and I almost had a couple of bad falls stepping back and tripping on her not knowing she was there and it happens very easily. At 81 a pup could trip you up and you could really hurt yourself.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 11:18PM
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I'm decades younger than you, and I found a puppy to be exhausting - much more work than I realized - even after I adopted a second dog as a friend for her! She's not yet 2 and she's still a handful. There are so many wonderful, loving older dogs that need a home; I hope you will consider this instead. Maybe even check with a local shelter about a dog who is there bc it had an owner that passed away? And cats are wonderful! I see so many ads for cats that need to be adopted to a "single cat home." In any event, I hope you enjoy your new "baby" whatever you do.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 3:00PM
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I got my last puppy in my 20s. I decided I wasn't good training a puppy. Since then I've gotten adult dogs.

I was looking at Min Pin rescue last night. So many senior dogs that most people wouldn't consider. They deserve a good home in their last years.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 12:40PM
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In our area, we have a Pets for Seniors adoption group. They go through the shelters and pick out dogs that they think would be perfect for seniors and target them to old people.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 11:59AM
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I got a puppy at age 72. She's not yet two and still a bundle of energy. I walk her five miles every day, which is good for both of us. I'm hoping to see her through to the end of her life but have made provisions for her just in case. I expected to have my last dog at least five years longer than I did...she died unexpectedly at age 10. Had she lived as long as I expected, I was planning on adopting a dog a few years old. I definitely would not recommend adopting a puppy at 81 and I'm very active and very agile.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 10:14PM
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For me, 40 was too old to adopt a puppy! I tend to adopt older dogs these days because I lack the energy puppies require.

On the other hand, I don't think that being older should necessarily stop people from having a dog. It just has to be the right dog for the situation. You might want to look into the Senior Dogs Project. It is active in many states and matches older dogs to older people. For those of us active in rescue, it is terribly hard to adopt out older and senior dogs, even the sweetest ones. It is very hard on a dog to return to a kennel, through no fault of its own, after living in a home, and many make perfect matches for retirees. Some rescues can, and will, even help out with temporary boarding and medical expenses if the match is right, and will help rehome the dog if the senior can no longer care for it.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 5:15PM
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FYI, when my grandmother died, my mother asked me if I wanted her cats. Having 2 already, I said, "no." I found out later that she had them put to sleep. I STILL feel guilty for that. No matter how old you are, make sure someone will take your animals after you die. Don't count on your children to do the right thing.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 7:20PM
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