At this time of year rescue centres across the country tend to be filled with puppies and young dogs, after people buy them as christmas presents and then realise that they cannot or simply don't want to look after a pooch any longer.

But it's not just puppies that will be looking for new homes, as there are also many older canines living in dog homes and rescue centres who are desperately looking for a second chance.

And while puppies are often easier to re-home, senior dogs can struggle to find loving owners, since many people consider them to be too set in their own ways and not having the same 'cute' appeal as a young pup.

However, older dogs can make wonderful pets and for some families adopting a senior canine companion can actually be a better option.

For a start, many older dogs will already have learned basic lessons such as house training, not to chew furniture and simple commands such as sit, stay and come.

What's more, any dog owners will tell you it's simply not true that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, as with a few dry dog food treats and plenty of encouragement almost any mutt can learn commands.

And while puppies will bounce around leaving you exhausted, senior canines tend to be calmer, so may be more suitable if you're seeking a canine companion for gentle walks and snuggling up on the sofa.

Finally, you can expect to receive tons of love and loyal companionship from an older dog if you are prepared to dedicate the time and effort to helping them settle in and ensuring they live a happy and comfortable life.

However, as with any dog, make sure you are fully prepared for the responsibility of a pet before adopting a senior canine and are committed to taking care of them for the rest of their lifetime however long or short that may be.

Written by: Hannah