With all the crazy in the country, it’s a great time to remind you that November is not only election season, it is Adopt A Senior Dog Month. If you’re considering a new companion, give some thought to picking an older dog from your local rescue or shelter. Mature pets make great additions to the family for a lot of reasons.

Most come house trained and understand basic commands. Adopting an already-trained dog will save you a lot of time, energy and your carpets! They make instant companions because most already know how to walk on a leash and play fetch. Adult dogs make a great workout partner, and late night snuggle buddy.

Many people have a bias towards older dogs in a shelter because they assume the dog is there because it’s a problem pet. This is simply not true. Dogs end up in a shelter for a whole host of reasons usually having everything to do with human troubles and nothing to do with the dog’s behavior. Allergies in the family, death, a new baby, loss of a job, a move, change in work schedule, and other lifestyle changes often result in humans giving up on their pets.

And, despite what many people think, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Dogs can be trained at any age, and older dogs have a greater attention span than a puppy, making them easier to train.

And finally, adopting an older dog may save its life. Most people ignore dogs over the age of five when looking for a new pet. Most shelters in our country are overcrowded and unfortunately, older dogs are among the first to be euthanized to make space for more. By adopting a senior dog, you are not only providing it with a forever loving home, but are also saving it from being put down.