Location: Larnaka, Cyprus
Joined: Sep 2008
This has been discussed before on here. Some think older people should not own dogs at all! Of course you don't have to be 'old' to become infirm, disabled or even die! Not everyone sees out the average lifespan and some go way beyond it.
You also do not have to be young to be a good and responsible dog owner.
I wouldn't have a dog at all if I didn't have reliable plan for the dog should anything happen to me. All my kids and trusted friends have my 'pats stuff' list and it includes who to contact re my dog (Lady who owns the excellent boarding I use) and she will come and collect her if necessary and also export her to the UK (as she also exports animals). All three of my kids argue about who would get Bella (I do have to AHEM - remind them I am not dead yet lol!)
The adjustment I made that was age dependent was what sort of dog I got. No more big dogs for me as a bit of arthritis crept in. And especially now that I live in apartments.
I actually think whether you can 'afford' to continue to own a dog into your dotage and afford to make provision for them should you be unable to cope is more important than just wondering or worrying whether your dog will outlive you!
Most of us have suffered the heartache of losing beloved dogs because their lifespan isn't very long. As we age I suppose it turns the problem round. But I do think it is a bit irresponsible to get a dog at ANY age if you haven't considered what you would do if say, the dog didn't fit into your family, turned out to be too much for you, family split up, all sorts of things.
I did once start a debate about whether enough 'new owners' really take on board the long term expense of owning a dog (i.e. not just purchase and feed) but the cost of medical care for it should it become necessary and all that. However it didn't go down very well with some and was seen by some as a personal attack on people who can't afford to insure their dogs or waddever!
I've never insured a dog or a cat or any other animal. But if I couldn't cover the cost of an expensive operation from my bank balance - I would have to do so.
The only time I ever insured a domestic appliance was decades ago when I knew that if my old Hoover W/M died I couldn't afford to buy another one! It's sad really that those with the least disposable income have to try to find the additional outlay of insurance for pets.
Taking on an older dog when you are old yourself seems, on the face of it, to be a great idea. Giving an older dog a good home in their twilight years. However, again, cost is a consideration, older dogs are more likely to require expensive medical care and maybe ongoing treatment for chronic conditions such as arthritis.
I was told by the Rescue I helped in the UK that they were seeing more and more old dogs being left with them just because owners could not afford the medical cost when they were ailing and sick. Very sad. I can't imagine just having to abandon your faithful canine friend at the time when they rely on you most.
Last time I swore I'd never get another dog was not on account of my senility. It was because I was SO heartbroken over losing the last one. I lasted two years without one. Kids were on at me all the time 'mum you just don't seem like our mum without a dog - we can't remember you ever not having a dog!'
But I lead a simple life and a lot of it revolves around walking my dog and exploring places with her. (We had a picnic today!) So it did leave a big hole - and my newly found 'freedom to globetrot more often and stay out longer without rushing back for the dog did not make up for not having a four legged friend.