We urge people to give old dogs new digs

We're urging dog lovers to forego the pitter patter of puppy paws and consider giving Older Age Pooches their perfect retirement home, after it found 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. (1) 

Google searches for buying a puppy increased by a huge 213% after lockdown began in March last year compared to the previous twelve months (2). 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 Terrier, Paddy, who was adopted from Dogs Trust Manchester by 101-year-old Marjorie Rigby shortly before lockdown began. Now, Marjorie and her daughter, Angela, 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 done. 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 very soon are: 

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. 

Another Older Age Pooch (OAP) looking for somewhere to rest her paws is 13-year-old Collie cross Mabel, who ended up in the care of local authorities before becoming a resident at Dogs Trust in Glasgow. Despite her age, Mabel is a typical Collie and is very much a young dog at heart and would fit in quickly in the right home. 

Last but definitely not least is nine-year-old laid-back Akita, Paddy. He loves to go on walks and is always excited to see his two-legged friends when it’s time to head out. Although he is laid-back, the team say he has a lovely silly side too and would suit an adult-only home so he can be the centre of attention 

Adam Clowes, Operations Director 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 an older dog enjoy their autumnal years and giving them the chance to live  their best life is incredibly rewarding. Owners always tell us 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.” 

Dogs Trust is working to change the tale for older dogs who find themselves without a forever home. To find out more please go to Old Dogs 

To find out more about caring for an older dog, visit rehoming and looking after an older dog 

If you’re struggling to cope with looking after your dog, for whatever reason, contact us on 0300 303 2188 and we’ll do everything we possibly can to help you. 

1. Dogs Trust statistics based on website searches using age related criteria from 1 July 2020 to 31 March 2021. Prior to this age-related search statistics were not recorded. 
2. Figures sourced from Propellernet, based on Google searches for “buy a puppy” for the 12 months following lockdown beginning on 23 March 2020 compared to the previous 12 months.