21 Photos That Prove Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs
They may have lived a lot of years, but they're still young at heart.
It’s heartbreaking to see any dog in a shelter, but seeing a senior dog looking up at you plaintively from his crate is particularly crushing because you know their chances of being adopted are especially low. According to the ASPCA, the adoption rate for seniors—any dog aged seven or older—is only 25 percent. And it’s absolutely tragic to think these old dogs may never know what it’s like to have a forever home.
Oftentimes, senior dogs are passed over for younger pups because they may be in need of more medical attention, and racking up unexpected veterinary bills can be a real problem for dog owners. But senior dogs also come with a variety of benefits that often outweigh those drawbacks. So read on for stories and photos that prove old dogs really are the best dogs.
Young pupperinos are balls of energy, constantly keeping you on your feet (and, more often than not, on your hands and knees). But senior dogs—like 13-year-old Cooper with his own Instagram—are so over all of those puppy shenanigans. They’re much calmer and easier to cuddle with, too.
Senior dogs, like this one from Imgur, live for the quieter moments, like curling up with a good book with your specs on.
They appreciate the finer things in life.
A puppy is in constant need of stimuli, but a 15-year-old grandpa like Snoopy (who has his own Instagram) just wants to sit back and relax.
They don’t dwell.
Blind senior dog Mack doesn’t let anything define him. According to his owner on Facebook, Mack loves “taking in the smells and sounds around him.”
They love a good lap nap.
There is no better lapdog than a senior dog who just wants to snuggle by the fire, like Moe, for instance. “My Cockapoo, Moe, is a well-seasoned lap warmer for everyone that comes in my home,” Kirsty Woodhouse wrote on Facebook.
They have a real zest for life.
According to Imgur, this dog is 13 years old, but he hasn’t forgotten that snow is basically magic.
They’re judgmental… in a good way.
Puppies will let you get away with a lot because they don’t know any better. But, like a loving grandfather, senior dogs like this one from Imgur are willing to call you out on your nonsense with a well-timed, disapproving stare.
They can parent younger dogs.
“Old dogs make the best mentors for silly young pups,” dog owner Dawn Seaton wrote on Facebook.
And teach them the ropes.
Senior dogs make it so much easier to train little puppers who have yet to understand the ways of the world. It’s the perfect example of puppy see, puppy do!
They’re the best parents to any little one, actually.
Fred, a 10-year-old Labrador Retriever, won over the internet by adopting nine orphaned ducklings in 2018.
They appreciate every moment.
Some humans get a little bitter as they age, but dogs know better than that. “She may be old and slow, but Droopy still loves a chin rub like any other dog,” her owner wrote on Imgur.
They’re extra grateful for you.
Puppies don’t know how good they have it. But senior dogs have been through a lot, so they’re especially appreciative of your love and kindness, like this little guy on Imgur.
They can make you feel young again.
If you’re worried about getting older, senior dogs can be a great reminder that age is really just a number. Exhibit A: Senior dog Eddie is totally in love with this Imgur user’s 94-year-old grandfather. They’re both looking great for their age!
They’re serious about family.
This white-faced dog, featured on Imgur, is giving off extremely protective big brother vibes over his little sister.
And they carry themselves with dignity.
It’s adorable to see a puppy tripping over its own two feet. But to see a senior dog carry himself with honor and grace, like Fidget here, is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
“Senior dogs generously share their heart and layers of experience,” Sandy O’Bleness wrote of Fidget on Facebook. “They inspire us with their zest for life and soothe our souls with their calm demeanor.”
They show us what it means to be a fighter.
Senior dogs remind us that you can beat virtually any illness when you’ve got love and family on your side. “This is Spade, our 12 year old [Siberian] Husky who has suffered his entire life with Demodex,” Heather Suedkamp wrote on Facebook. “He is the most contrary, spiteful, stubborn yet most wonderful dog in the world.”
They can be literal heroes.
You’ve probably heard of pups who’ve risked their lives to save their owners from immediate danger. And what senior dogs lack in sprightliness, they make up for in loyalty.
In 2016, an older dog named Che barked to alert residents of a fire in the building. When the firefighters arrived, they found the very good boy lying on top of his owner, shielding her from the flames.
They’re young at heart.
They may not have the same energy they used to, but all dogs are forever toddlers. So they’ll still get excited when you treat them to a new toy, like this incredible 19-year-old dog from Imgur who’s just as excited as a two-year-old to be pulled around in a Radio Flyer.
And they still have a lot to look forward to.
Marnie the Shih Tzu, now 17, was adopted from a shelter when she was 11 years old. She quickly became an internet celebrity thanks to her unique look, proving that it’s never too late to be a star!
They remind us of how precious life is.
Take Raina, who passed away in August 2013 at 14-plus years, for example.
“Raina was my dog from vet tech school,” Senani Ratnayke wrote on Facebook. “Not only did she help me to become a better veterinary technician, she also taught me a lot about how to live life to the fullest. She carried herself with dignity through spinal cord issues and finally cancer. She fought hard and never stopped loving life, no matter what obstacles it placed in front of her.”
And they’ll love you to death.
Actually, his is true for all dogs—like this good boy from Instagram—and it doesn’t change with age. And for more lovable pets, check out 25 Hilarious Dogs Who Look So Much Like Their Owners It’s Scary.
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