Giving a Home to an Older Dog

Adopting an Older Dog from Axarquia Animal Rescue

Once a homeless dog reaches its twilight years it becomes more difficult for him to find his forever home. He is often overlooked by potential adopters. He will still make a great companion and will still have lots of love to give.

Potential adopters can often be put off in the belief that because the dog is older he will have health issues or special needs. In some cases this may be true but AAR will discuss any known issues with you prior to adoption. For an older dog we may be able to waive the adoption donation as finding a good home is the most important thing for us.

If there is any on-going medication needed you will be made fully aware of this and be able to discuss medication costs so you know what to expect. In cases of severe health issues we may be able to help with costs. AAR is always available for support and advice. The most important thing is for the dog to spend his twilight years in a home he can call his own with the care and love he needs and deserves.

An older dog will still enjoy play time and going for walks, but as he ages he may want to do these activities for shorter periods. His personality will already be established so there shouldn’t be any great surprises. He will be house trained and less likely to be destructive and generally be of a calmer nature. He will soon get to know and love you and will reward you in a way that will melt your heart.

If you are interested in adopting an older dog take a look at our Gallery where you will find pictures and information of dogs eagerly waiting for you.

As with people, ageing brings changes. Be prepared to make allowances for changes in your dog as he gets older. By looking out for the signs of ageing you can be prepared, make small changes to meet his needs and continue to give him the quality of life he deserves.


Dogs will have less energy as they age and may want to sleep more, but is still important that he gets enough exercise. He probably won't want to go on any more of those long country walks, but that’s fine. Two or three shorter walks a day, at his pace, will give him physical exercise and mental stimulation. Older dogs still enjoy training sessions provided they are not too physically demanding. Try hiding an object and let him find it. This will help keep him active and stimulate his mind, plus it's good fun.


As a dog ages, because he doesn't exercise as much as when he was younger, he may put on a few pounds of body weight. If you notice weight gain, or to help prevent weight gain, you may consider changing his diet to a “complete senior food” which contains less protein and fat. You may also need to gradually reduce the size or number of snacks he receives.


  • Eyes - As dogs age they may experience problems with their eyesight. If you notice your dog's eyes appear cloudy it could be changes due to age or it could be cataracts. Ask your veterinary practice for advice. As failing eyesight is normally a gradual process dogs adjust to it generally quite well. Depending on the level of detioriation there are things you can do to help him. Avoid leaving objects around on the floor and moving furniture. When exercising him outside of the home/garden, for his own safety, it's best to keep him on his lead.
  • Hearing - If you think his hearing is beginning to fail and he doesn’t always hear your voice you could whistle. Work with him to find ways to aid communication.
  • Teeth & Nails – Keep an eye on his teeth and gums. If you have any concerns consult your veterinary practice. His nails may become less worn if he is less mobile.
  • Neutering – If your dog hasn’t already been neutered this could be beneficial. Seek advice from your veterinary practice.
  • Grooming – This should be an enjoyable experience for your dog. It also gives you a chance to check the condition of his coat and skin, and provides opportunity to check for any unwanted lumps or skin conditions.

If you think your dog is suffering with pain or discomfort in his neck or back there are things you can do to help him. Try raising his food bowls so he doesn’t have to bend down so far. He may suffer from joint stiffness which will probably be worse after resting, so make sure he has a comfortable bed of the correct size for his build. If he has trouble getting in and out of your car you could carry a box or something he can use as a step. If he has trouble with the door step you could consider a ramp.

To avoid your dog experiencing unnecessary stress or discomfort always seek advice from your Vet if you have any concerns for his wellbeing.

Changes in Behaviour

It is important to seek advice from your veterinary practice immediately if you feel your dog is showing signs of senility, showing compulsive behaviours.

He may bark more often. This could be because he is going deaf or because he is feeling troubled. Watch for any signs of discomfort and always consult your Vet for advice. As dogs age they become less tolerant, always respect “their” space.

An older dog should have twice yearly check ups with your Vet.

Vets in the Axarquia

See a list of some of the vets local to the Axarquia

Reporting Abuse

If you need to report a case of cruelty please contact SEPRONA

If you find a stray ...

dog or cat abandoned in the Axarquia region, here's what to do