Reasons to Adopt a Senior Pet

It goes without saying that senior animals are often overlooked for younger pets or puppies and kittens. According to most veterinarians, pets are considered to be “senior” around age 7. However, when it comes to dogs, the size of the dog affects this categorization as smaller dog breeds mature more slowly than larger breeds. In honor of Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month, we wanted to share with you all the reasons why older furbabies make the perfect pets.

• Seniors need homes, too. Most older pets were once owned and loved by someone. Unfortunately, they were surrendered or abandoned at a shelter, and they are in desperate need of a home. Just like young, spry pets, these animals make loving and loyal companions.

• Old dogs (or cats) can learn new tricks. We all know wisdom comes with the passing of years. Dogs can be trained at any age – younger doesn’t mean smarter. Older pets often have longer attention spans, making them easier to train than their younger counterparts.

• Most seniors have had years to perfect their manners. Older pets are more likely to be potty-trained and have proper home etiquette. Senior dogs are less like to be destructive chewers, and they’ll likely have mastered basic commands. If your dog or cat needs a refresher course, the have the mental and physical capacity to pick up new skills quickly, unlike puppies or kittens.

• An older pet doesn’t mean a “problem pet”. Most senior pets lose their homes, not due to behavioral issues, but for reasons such as: allergies or illness, the novelty of a new pet wearing off, death of a guardian, new baby, a move, job loss, and other various lifestyle changes. They still have plenty of love and devotion to give to their new family.

• The best is yet to come. Don’t pass up that furbaby just because they’re 5. The average lifespan of a dog is 10-13 years, and the average lifespan of a cat is 15- 17 years. They could even live longer depending on their health and breed. This means that the “senior” shelter pet isn’t as senile as you think. After adopting a senior, remember to talk to your vet about keeping them happy and healthy.

• Experience laid back living. For most senior pets, their marathon running days are over. If you’re looking for a calm couch potato, then a senior pet might be the right pet for you. Seniors still need regular exercise, but they’re content to take it easy.

• What you see is what you get. Not all of us are cut out to be puppy or kitten parents, and that’s fine. Fortunately with seniors, you get instant knowledge. You know their full-grown size, personality and temperament, grooming requirements, even allergy or health concerns. All of this can make it easier to pick the right pet for you and your family.

• Adopting a senior pet could save their life. Pets over the age of five are often overlooked, and shelters are overcrowded. Older pets are often the first to be euthanized if they aren’t adopted in a timely manner. They could also require more care and supervision due to health concerns. Don’t let that deter you.  By adopting a senior, you’re providing them with a better life filled with care and love.

Love has no age limit! Senior pets are eager to bond with their new family and settle into a life of love, security, and adventure.