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Are we too old to get a dog

(64 Posts)
oldgirl2 Tue 12-Feb-19 12:35:38

I am 68 and DH is 66, fit and healthy. We have always had a cat and our last dear girl died 5 years ago. Since then we have retired and DH has always wanted a dog, he had one over 30 years ago and I only had one in our family home when I was a child. Do you think it is too late to consider getting a medium sized dog, about 4,5 or more years old. We live near to countryside and 5 miles from the sea but apart from our age we would holiday twice a year abroad as ds lives in Scandinavia. It’s not just dh, I also would love to have a dog, we walk every day and just feel a house is a home with a pet.

ClareAB Tue 12-Feb-19 12:58:50

You sound like brilliant dog parents to be. Your idea of getting an older dog is wonderful.

My husband is a healthy 72, we got a lab last year and it has transformed his life. He walks her twice a day and adores her. I walk her on my own less often as have neck problems, but love going with them. Husband has lost weight, the veins in his legs which were an issue have improved. It has also helped him transition into (semi) retirement.

It's worth the dog hair, the muddy paw prints, the holes in my lawn!

The only thing I would take into consideration is size. Our girl weighs around 30 kilos and is impossible for me to pick up. This is a problem as she refuses to jump into the car and has to be carried the whole time in the vets. But we manage.

Good luck smile

HildaW Tue 12-Feb-19 13:09:11

Never too old....there are always plenty of dogs at Rehoming centres of all ages. A well run one will go to quite some lengths to ensure you are well matched re breed/activity levels/age etc. Good luck and they are a great way of keeping active and meeting up with lovely like minded people!

oldgirl2 Tue 12-Feb-19 13:09:59

Thank you ClareAB, I may have been a bit unclear, dog would need to go into kennels when we go away. We are prepared to limit holidays abroad to 2 a year and take others in UK with the dog, possibly cottages, although ideas would be very welcome. I do worry about kennels though.

FlexibleFriend Tue 12-Feb-19 13:23:26

As long as you kind a good kennels there shouldn't be an issue. My Dobermanns used to go into kennels every year when we went away and they took it in their stride obviously helped by them having each other for company. Just make sure the rehoming centre ensures you don't end up with a dog with separation anxiety or they'll struggle in kennels. As for age none of us have a crystal ball but you sound an ideal fit for a dog. Good luck

RosieLeah Tue 12-Feb-19 13:42:26

You sound like the ideal people to get a dog. There are so many in rescue centres, including older dogs needing a 'retirement' home. You can make arrangements for the dog to be taken care of if you die before it does.

ClareAB Tue 12-Feb-19 13:49:21

It doesn't necessarily have to be kennels. Our girl goes to a dog carer and stays in her home as one of the family. The dog sitter also has a dog and my girl adores going there. She has a doggie holiday whilst we get on with ours without worrying that she's lonely.
I don't like kennels, they seem like doggie prisons to me. smile

HildaW Tue 12-Feb-19 13:50:23

There are alternatives to kennels. We use a holiday for dogs company. They match you with someone in your area who can offer your dog a home similar to your own re access to exercise/other dogs etc. Your dog then becomes a 'house guest' and can really enjoy themselves. We have made great friends with the person we use and our dog is extremely happy to go there, getting very excited when we put her bed in the car and then drop her off. The fees are quite reasonable and you have the reassurance of knowing your pet is really being looked after. Most vets can recommended a service or at least have brochures. However there is one nationwide company who run a slightly different service that we would never use. They basically match you blind with a do not get to see where your dog goes but are offered photos as a reassurance. They basically take your dog away and return it later....and charge you for the privilege. Some folks are happy with this arrangement, we are not.

HildaW Tue 12-Feb-19 13:50:59

snap ClareAB....they work really well don't they?

Missfoodlove Tue 12-Feb-19 14:17:40

Why not register as pet sitters with a reputable agency?
You can have a dog in your own home and get paid.

oldgirl2 Tue 12-Feb-19 14:52:28

I love the idea of in home boarding, I have googled already and there are some within our area, with 5 star reviews which seem genuine. We have not the experience to be sitters ourselves, in fact, dog will need to take dh and I to classes to train us to his/her needs 😂😂. We need to go to ds in next few days for family reasons, although it is a bonus to see dgc, and then we can go ahead. It’s exciting!

Telly Tue 12-Feb-19 15:05:20

Yes, I would contact your local sanctuary or the RSPCA. There are lots of older dogs who are looking for a home. Perhaps their owners are no longer able to care for them etc. You are def. not too old although I would be wary of a puppy. Make sure that you have good plans for when you are away etc. Our dog has been to dog boarding in the past and most recently we had a dog sitter to stay. Local FB page is good for recommendations, or the vets.

sodapop Tue 12-Feb-19 15:45:15

Definitely give a home to a rescue dog oldgirl2 Don't get a large breed which may be difficult to handle. Do your research with the rescue centre of your choice, they will be able to advise you. Don't rush into it, take time to get the right fit for you and the dog. Taking holidays is not a problem, its good for the dog to socialise and for you to have a break. I disagree with other posters who decry boarding kennels, there are some very good ones. I have three dogs and they are quite happy to stay in a local boarding kennel. They stay together, are given medication where required and have lots of playtime. Their pictures are put on FB so we can see they are ok whilst we are away. Good luck you will have so much love and pleasure from your dog. ( and hard work)

Floradora9 Tue 12-Feb-19 15:47:58

Think about how often you are out or go away on holiday . I would have loved to have a cat again but we go away from home so often it would not be fair on the cat and would cost a fortune in boarding it out . A dog is even more of a tie .

HildaW Tue 12-Feb-19 15:53:46

Nothing wrong with a good Boarding Kennels - its just not suitable for our dog, she's a rescue dog and was very stressed by her stay in kennels. Also bonding well with someone willing to have our dog as a guest is really useful for those odd long days out when taking a dog would not be suitable. Having someone to provide the odd 'doggy daycare sessions' has been invaluable.

52bright Tue 12-Feb-19 16:04:53

We got our little dog last year because she needed a home.When we were much younger we had a dog ...a mongrel ...who lived to be nearly 17. We vowed when she was pts that we would never have another ...and didn't succumb for another 18 years.

However we love having a dog again. She is big enough to enjoy walks of over 5 miles when we have our once a week coastal outing but small enough to be content with a much smaller daily walk on other days.

As well as the pleasure she gives us she has altered our lives in many ways though. We have to think more carefully about our holidays. When we go abroad our daughter looks after her with her own retriever but our holidays in this country have totally changed. We used to like cheapie bus trips or our own touring incorporating lovely historic buildings and gorgeous lunch stop offs.

Now we tend to choose coastal or country destinations where we can take her with us. More planning required because not all hotels take dogs. Lovely on summer days watching the world go by sitting outside a coastal pub enjoying a glass of wine. Not so great in the winter in places where we can't take her inside. However l google ahead now if we fancy lunch out half way through a dog walk.

We are both almost 67. In good health at present thank goodness but we know that if anything happened our dog lover daughter would take our dog. You also need to consider the price of vet insurance ext and the time and patience necessary to train. I would highly recommend.

notoveryet Tue 12-Feb-19 16:13:16

We got a puppy when my husband was 70 and a year old rescue dog a year later. I'm a few years younger than dh. We have arrangements for them if we pass on before they do! We no longer have holidays but if you research carefully Im sure you will find the right care for them. Our dogs have made our retirement for us. Long walks every day, new friends in the doggy world. We had a lot of work to do with the rescue dog and needed the help of a specialist trainer, but we got there and he's the loveliest of dogs now. Make sure you match the breed to the amount of exercise and mental stimulation you are able to provide. all the very best to you and the dog you decide on ( or who decides on you)

SalsaQueen Tue 12-Feb-19 18:15:43

If you get a dog, will it be an adult/mature one? Some dogs live for many years, so as long as you'll still be fit enough and will have enough to pay for vet bills etc., why not?

oldgirl2 Tue 12-Feb-19 19:27:54

Thank you everyone for your words of encouragement. We have been researching breeds, training and everything else we can think of for a while now, so haven’t rushed into it. We are looking forward to this change in lifestyle, it will be a big change for us, as long as holidays abroad are not over completely. Vet bills will not be a problem, we have had plenty of those in the past😟, also I agree it is a good idea to have arrangements in place for the future. Thank you all for being helpful, this is a good place to share doubts, I may even share my views in future.......instead of being a lurker 😁😁

FlexibleFriend Tue 12-Feb-19 19:44:15

Nothing at all wrong with a quality kennels, If you do use a home based dog sitting service make sure their property is secure and they have quality insurance. I've heard some horror stories of dogs escaping from their sitters house and going missing or getting hit by a car. Apart from that it sounds like you're thinking it all through.

NfkDumpling Tue 12-Feb-19 19:51:48

The Cinnamon Trust often has dogs looking for long term fostering. The advantage (apart from them paying vets bills etc) is that they will also take the dog back if for any reason you can’t continue to care for it. A bit of added security that your hound will never be homeless.

watermeadow Tue 12-Feb-19 20:01:25

As long as you’re fit enough to give a dog a good home then you’re not too old.
I got my present puppy when I was 73 and we have had such a loving fun-filled time together. I hope to live at least the 17 years which she could live.

MawBroon Tue 12-Feb-19 20:11:30

Yes, go for it.
I meant to get another retired greyhound when we lost Gracie, they are generally retired around 4, but ended up with 18 month old Hattie who is the gentlest dog ever.
I do wonder about our future though as I am 70 and the other hounds lived to 12, 12and 14 respectively. 🙁

Iam64 Tue 12-Feb-19 20:21:55

Go for it old girl, the thought you're giving it says you'll be good dog owners. It's worth researching breeds as there aren't many genuine mongrels around these days. Many dog rescue shelters are full of staffs and old German shepherds.
There are many charities that are breed specific. Decide what characteristics and size will work in your lives. Many breed specific charities place dogs in foster homes pre adoption, which means adopters are matched with dogs that suit their needs, plus they get good information from the foster carer about behaviour, exercise and training needs. Best of luck

Tangerine Tue 12-Feb-19 21:21:43

No, you're not too old. Get an older dog if you are worried about a puppy outliving you or being too much for you. I do not mean to be unkind to you when I say this.