Advice on adopting a senior lab?
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Thread: Advice on adopting a senior lab?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    DefaultAdvice on adopting a senior lab?

    I am new to this board because I am considering adopting a 10yo lab from a local shelter. I was hoping you all could give me your thoughts on making this decision.

    My home life: I live in a 2 bedroom apartment that is on the second floor. I also have two 10yo cats that really have never been around a dog but are relatively laid back and like people/are ok with other cats. I live 1 block from work so I am able to be home several times throughout the day. I grew up with dogs and am ok with acclimating, walking, caring for, training, etc.

    My questions:
    1)Will the stairs (1 flight) be too much for an older dog?
    2)Is a 2 bedroom too small for a lab? I don't have a fenced yard so he would have to be in while I am at work, but we have a great dog park close and can play in the yard supervised.
    3)Labs are typically fine around cats, aren't they? Anyone have a similar situation in regards to introducing a dog to cats?

    Thanks, I appreciate any feedback you can provide as I know this is a big decision and want to make sure it's the right one.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    DefaultRe: Advice on adopting a senior lab?

    (1) Depends on the dog.
    (2) No - your apartment should be fine as long as you are committed to taking the dog for walks. A senior dog does not need as much exercise as a young dog and will probably be happier inside.
    (3) Really depends on the dog. Chances are probably better with an older dog that it wouldn't try to chase cats but you never know. One thing you might do is see if the shelter will test the dog around cats.

  4. #3
    talleyJudy's Avatar
    talleyJudy is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    River Falls, WI

    DefaultRe: Advice on adopting a senior lab?

    Another thing to take into account is the fact that dogs in general think of "kitty tootsie rolls" as the most wonderful gastronomic delicacy ever ; so the kitty pan should be in a place that is of course accessible to the cats but that is NOT accessible to the dog.
    And, too, clumping kitty litter could raise havoc in a dogs guts.

    Thank you for considering a senior rescue. :-*
    "If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." author Will Rogers

    Auggie 12/29/95 ~ 01/15/09

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  6. #4
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    DefaultRe: Advice on adopting a senior lab?

    Actually - the stairs COULD become an issue later on. Our 14 year old lab can't handle steps anymore. But at 10 the dog will most likely be fine with stairs. Just realize that you may need to figure out what to do if, after some time, the stairs become a problem.

    The size of your place is no problem at all. I live in a 1 bedroom apt and have two labs (one is a foster but still!)

    As for the cat, do you know if the dog is good with cats? Plenty of dogs do great with cats. Some do not. You will have to find out, hopefully the shelter can help you see if the dog is good with cats. As for your cat, I don't know. Make sure it has a place to "escape" the dog is all I can recommend.

    bless you for wanting to give this dog a home.
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    DefaultRe: Advice on adopting a senior lab?

    I adopted an 8-10 yr. old chocolate lab and it's the best thing I have ever done and he is my best friend. Truely one of the best dogs I have ever owned. Please consider it because the senior labs don't always get a second look and they really deserve it. I really want to get another older one now.

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    DefaultRe: Advice on adopting a senior lab?

    Depending on how the hips are on the lab you would like to adopt they may find stairs a problem. And hopefully the shelter should be able to give you information on how he/she gets along with other pets etc. We've rescued oldies, and the one thing I can say is you have to be prepared for any little quirks they may have, sometimes they've never had it so good and can't believe their luck - Rhuna, our last rescue used to guard her bed initially, so we confiscated it and put a different one down for her in a different place. But as long as you are prepred for these sort of little quirks, it is such a rewarding thing to do. The only heartbreaking thing is that they are not with us for long enough when you get them as oldies, but you have the honour of knowing you have made such a big difference to a dog that would most likely be over looked and not find the twilight home they deserve.

  9. #7
    kassabella's Avatar
    kassabella is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Wellington New Zealand

    DefaultRe: Advice on adopting a senior lab?

    You could adopt a 3.5 year old like I did and still get hips issues so I don't think there are right or wrong decisions.
    Any dog any age has good and bad points. Go with your gut feeling.

    I looked after a senior when his owners went away and they never came back for him.I didn't want him, but he turned out to be the most laid back wonderful old boy and the extra things I needed to do for him were more than worth his love. I had a step stool so he could get into the car and one on to the bed. He died a month ago. I miss him and don't regret for a moment the time I had with him. Only wish it was longer. This for me is the only down side of older Labs.

    Any Lab will bring you joy.

    Kassa 25/11/01 - 09/02/05 O.S Jaw cancer forever in my heart.
    Ernie 25/11/01 adopted May 05
    Sam 11? adopted Nov 06 - 18/12/07 Lyphoma
    Tessa. Rescued June 2011.
    Bone Cancer Dogs org.

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    DefaultRe: Advice on adopting a senior lab?

    I had to build ramps for my old brown boy when he turned 14, and I had to start lifting him in and out of the car, but it was no problem. There is nothing sweeter than a senior lab. Best of luck to you...


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